The long-awaited consolidation among Poland’s largest cable operators may soon be about to get underway, with Aster being acquired by Vectra. Should a sale be concluded, it would create the largest player in the Polish industry, pushing UPC into second place.
Speaking to Rzeczpospolita, Aster president and shareholder Janusz Arciszewski said an investment advisor for its sale would be appointed in a matter a weeks. He added that Mid Europa Partners Aster’s main backers, have a five-year business plan that ends in 2011, so it should not be seen as surprising that they might want to sell their stake in the company.
Quoting unnamed sources, Rzeczpospolita says that an opening fee of PLN1.7 billion (€340.2 million) has already been quoted for Aster, though it would not be the final one paid as the operator also has debts of PLN1.5 billion.
It also says that Vectra has emerged as the most likely buyer of Aster, though UPC and Multimedia Polska cannot be ruled out of the running.
Despite its largest debt, Aster, currently Poland’s fourth largest operator after UPC, Vectra and Multimedia Polska, is also one of the most lucrative. It has 380,000 subscribers in Warsaw, Kraków and Zielona Góra, with the majority being in the capital.