Poland’s leading pay-TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat has submitted a bid for a 32% stake in the leading alternative telco Netia. At the same time, it has boosted its content business by buying several thematic channels from ZPR Media.
Cyfrowy Polsat has offered to pay PLN638.8 million (€151.9 million) for a combined block of shares currently owned by Netia’s two main shareholders. It has also said it intends to announce a tender offer in order to achieve a stake of no more than 66% of the total number of votes at Netia’s General Meeting.
Commenting on the deal, Tobias Solorz, president of the management board of Cyfrowy Polsat, Polkomtel, said: “To us Netia represents valuable infrastructure, attractive client base and entry point to an entirely new market. It is a potential amalgamation of two perfectly complementary businesses and a natural step in the development of our group, one that will let us offer our existing and future clients new services and add attractive new elements to our package of integrated services available for all Poles”.
Meanwhile, Polsat Group has agreed with ZPR Media to buy 100% of the shares in the companies owning Eska TV, Eska TV Extra, Eska Rock TV, Polo TV and Vox Music TV channels, as well as a 34% stake in the company owning Fokus TV and Nowa TV.
The total value of the transactions around PLN103 million and it will be financed from the group’s own funds.
In addition, Polsat Group has concluded a preliminary share purchase agreement for a further 15% stake in TV Spektrum, up until now the owner of Focus TV and Nowa TV, at some stage in the future.
Commenting on the channel acquisitions, Maciej Stec, member of the management board of Cyfrowy Polsat, said: “Acquiring the new channels and agreeing on cooperation to develop two new stations for our terrestrial digital television is perfectly in line with our group’s strategy to maintain strong viewership and market presence on an increasingly fragmented market”.
Zbigniew Benbenek, chairman of the supervisory board of ZPR Media and Time, added: “On the media market, both Polish and global, the times of consolidation have come. The main competitor of Fokus TV channel, which we have managed to overtake in terms of viewership, i.e. Discovery channel, was globally purchased by Scripps Networks Interactive and thus in Poland it bought TVN. It also bought Metro channel from Agora, that competes with Nowa TV on MUX 8. Our TV stations Eska TV, Polo TV, Fokus TV and Nowa TV have been created from scratch and we are proud of them. At the same time, we want them to continue to grow and we are aware that these days they need support from a strong player. We are happy that together with Polsat Group we remain in this business and, based on the executed agreement, we will remain in charge of the channels created by us. As ZPR Media Group, we will also focus on the production of television content based on synergy with our brands.”