Providence Equity Partners is to acquire a majority stake in Dutch and Flemish DTH operators CanalDigitaal and TV Vlaanderen. Airbridge Investments, which now wholly owns both companies, will keep a minority interest. The sale needs to be approved by the Dutch competition authority NMa before completion.
Last November Airbridge hired Lehman Brothers to oversee a possible sale of the two companies. Originally an auction was envisaged, but soon Providence surfaced as the most serious candidate. “They came to us and we liked them immediately because of their people and their knowledge of the telecoms and media industries,” said Hans Wolfert, Partner in Airbridge Investments and Chairman of CanalDigitaal.
Canal Digitaal claimed over 700,000 DTH homes connected as per December 2006 and TV Vlaanderen now counts 30,000 subscribers. Q4 was particularly successful for Canal Digitaal with over 40,000 news homes following the analogue switch-off of Dutch terrestrial television. Providence Equity investments in European media include Com Hem, Digiturk, Kabel Deutschland, ProSiebenSat.1 and TDC.