The Russian cable operator Akado has signed an agreement with Sberbank for two credit lines totalling R9.5 billion (€235 million) over seven years.
The first line, which amounts to R5.6 billion, will be used to refinance existing loans, reducing interest rates and the cost of servicing the operators’ loan portfolio to R350 million in 2011.
The remaining R3.9 billion will meanwhile be used to finance Akado’s investment programme, and in particular this year’s planned transition to DOCSIS 3.0 technology, offering internet access speeds of up to 400 Mbps; expanding Akado’s presence in the Moscow region; and adding new TV channels to its offer.
As a result of the deal, Sberbank is now Akado’s main creditor.
Akado says that preliminary estimates indicate its revenues in 2010 grew by 20% compared to 2009, while EBITDA rose by 50%.
The operator, which has been a takeover target for Svyazinvest since last year, says it has made a “full business recovery” following the crisis of 2008-9.
According to iKS Consulting, it ended Q3 2010 with 995,000 cable TV and 622,000 broadband internet access subscribers.