Liberty Global to buy cable business of Poland's Multimedia Polska for $763.5 mn

Telecommunications giant, Liberty Global Plc, backed by US cable king John Malone, today struck a deal to buy the cable business of Poland's Multimedia Polska SA for an enterprise value of 3 billion zlotys ($763.5 million) in cash.

The transaction excludes Multimedia's existing insurance, gas and energy operations, which will be retained by the shareholders of Multimedia.

Liberty Global will carry out the acquisition through its Polish subsidiary UPC Poland and intends to fund the deal through a combination of debt and cash on hand.

The purchase price equates to a multiple of 6.2x Multimedia's 2015 full-year adjusted EBITDA2 when adjusted for 124 million zlotys ($30 million) of projected annual run-rate synergies derived from revenue and cost-related items, Liberty Global said in a statement.

UPC Poland is the largest cable operator in Poland, while Multimedia Polska is the third-largest cable operator in the country.

UPC Poland fiber network passes through 3.1 million homes, or around 20 per cent of total households in Poland, serving 1.4 million customers, while Multimedia's hybrid fiber-coaxial cable network passes 1.6 million homes, serving 832,000 customers.

Multimedia also has 54,000 mobile subscribers.

The combined operations of UPC Poland and Multimedia will pass through over four million passed homes and businesses.

''This acquisition will significantly increase our scale in Poland, where we are already the largest cable operator. Upon closing of the transaction, we will begin upgrading the Multimedia network, after which Multimedia's customers will be able to enjoy superfast broadband speeds and our next-generation video service Horizon TV,'' said, Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global.

Liberty Global, which has splurged around $40 billion in the past seven years in acquiring European assets, has a market cap of $28.7 billion, and revenues of $19.3 billion.

In 2013, it paid $15.75 billion to acquire Virgin Media Inc, the UK's second largest pay-TV operator that also provides fixed and mobile telephone, and broadband internet services.

As part of its acquisition, Liberty Global relocated from the US to the UK by becoming a subsidiary of a new British holding company.

Liberty Global's consumer brands include UPC, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, Telenet and VTR.

Recently it acquired British cable operator Virgin Media, Dutch telecom provider Ziggo and fully acquired Belgian peer Telenet Group Holding NV.

It is the largest international cable operator with 27 million customers across 14 countries and eighty per cent of its revenue comes from Europe, of which, two-thirds comes from four countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

CWC operates in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and the Seychelles. It is a market leader in 10 out of 15 mobile markets, 14 out of 15 broadband markets, and all 14 fixed line markets.