Liberty Global has entered into an agreement to acquire Kabel BW Erste Beteiligungs (KBW), the third largest cable TV operator in Germany controlled by EQT private equity. As of December 31st, 2010, KBW’s broadband communications network passed 3.7 million homes and served 2.4 million customers who subscribed to 3.9 million basic cable, pay TV, telephony and broadband Internet services.
Mike Fries, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, commented: “The proposed acquisition of KBW is great news for our shareholders and, just as importantly, German consumers. This transaction provides us with further access to one of the fastest-growing cable markets in Europe and is fully aligned with our strategy of acquiring world class cable operations that are accretive from a value and growth perspective. In addition, we strongly believe that this will enhance competition in the German marketplace and provide significant benefits to customers who are increasingly demanding faster and more reliable access to broadband services. Together with our existing Unitymedia operation that passes 8.7 million homes and serves 4.6 million customers in the contiguous states of Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany will become our largest European market and a key driver for continued innovation in next generation broadband and digital TV services.”
Liberty Global will acquire KBW through a series of transactions for a total consideration of approximately €3.16 billion ($4.48bn), excluding transaction costs. This represents a purchase price multiple of approximately 8.1 times our estimate of KBW’s 2011 EBITDA under IFRS as adjusted for the projected annual impact of synergies that may be realised following the full integration of the acquisition.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of 2011.