Warburg Pincus enters Polish cable market

IneaWarburg Pincus has acquired a minority stake in Poland’s fourth largest cable operator Inea for an undisclosed fee.

Inea is a leading provider of triple play services in the Wielkopolska region in the west of the country.

Founded in 1992, it currently passes 360,000 homes and has 170,000 subscribers. Its revenues in 2012 amounted to PLN169 million (€41 million).

Warburg Pincus has extensive experience as an investor in the cable industry and is also a leading investor in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

It formed Ziggo in the Netherlands and has also invested in cable operators in the US, UK and CEE.

In the case of Inea, it plans to support the company’s rollout of FTTH technology, extending high-speed broadband access to over 200,000 additional households and a significant number of businesses in Wielkopolska.

Part of the investment will go towards funding Wielkopolska Siec Szerokopasmowa, a partnership with local government that will construct over 4,000km of fibre-optic backbone and distribution network and put over 95% of Wielkopolska households within a 4km radius from the closest distribution node.

Once completed, Inea’s network will be the most advanced in Poland, providing high speed broadband to over 500,000 homes.

Significantly, the investment will help Inea acquire local operators in what is still a highly fragmented market.