Advanced Television

Cabovisão sold to Apax France

September 16, 2015

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Altice Group has sold Portuguese cable operator Cabovisão and Oni, a small telecom operator providing services for business customers, to Apax France for an undisclosed price.

Altice had set a book value of €115.0 million for the two operators (of which €17.90 for Cabovisão) in its H1 2015 financials, well below the €300 million valuation cited by Bloomberg for the cable operator only.

Altice was required to sell off its Portuguese assets by September 15, following the purchase of Portugal Telecom for €7.4 billion earlier this year.

The  transaction  will  be  subject  to  regulatory  review  by  the  European Commission and Portuguese authorities.

Altice purchased Cabovisão in 2012 from Canada’s Cogeco Cable for €45 million. One year later, it paid €82 million to The Riverside Company and Gestmin for their shares in Oni.

According to local reports, potential bidders for Cabovisão and Oni included Vodafone Portugal, Nos, Interroute and Star Times.

Cabovisão, which provides triple-play services (fixed telephony, cable TV and broadband Internet), has been progressively losing pay-TV market in Portugal, ending H1 with a 5.7 per cent share. This compares to 6.0 per cent in Q1 2015 and 6.7 per cent in Q2 2014 (figures from the National Communications Authority).

Despite subscriber loss and strong competition, Cabovisão reported a profit of €2.4 million at the end of H1 2015.

Launched in 1993, the operator was originally owned by Dutch company Telemax BV and Canada’s Cable Satisfaction International (CSII), before being sold in 2006 to Cogeco Cable.

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