PIKE CONFERENCE – SOPOT. The total value of privately owned European cable companies currently amounts to some €45 billion, according to Guy Hayward Cole, an MD and head of TMT M+A at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. However, around €25 billion of this is accounted for by debt.
Hayward Cole added that there is currently a lot of support from the markets for debt/equity cable deals as the markets did not lose their money in the economic crisis.
Cable assets are worth some 8x EBITDA this year, which is some way below the peak period of 2006/7 but an improvement on 2008/9.
Commenting on Poland, Hayward Cole said that “the market is changing and cable becoming a much more strategic asset than a few years ago.” In his view, “consolidation in Poland will happen through choice rather than choice.”
Aster, Poland’s fourth largest cable operator, is currently up for sale, with the market leader UPC Polska one of the favourites to buy the company, perhaps by the end of this year.