Liberty Global will sell its DTH operations for a total enterprise value of approximately €180 million ($205 million) on a U.S. GAAP basis, subject to customary debt and working capital adjustments at completion.
Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval, which is expected in the first half of 2019. Liberty Global said the proceeds from the sale are expected to be used for general corporate purposes.
Currently the Liberty Global DTH business serves about 800,000 customers in Hungary under the brand UPC Direct, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia under the brand freeSAT, and in Romania under the brand FocusSat. This acquisition will enable M7 Group to gain further scale and increase its top line by circa 30% post transaction.
“This is a very logical acquisition for us, allowing us to consolidate the satellite TV activities of Skylink in the Czech and Slovak markets, while further diversifying our European footprint into two new markets,” said Hans Troelstra, CEO of M7 Group.
“In addition, we will be able to roll out our hybrid satellite and OTT TV platform in those two new markets. In our existing markets the OTT platform is already used by about 15-20% of the base.”
Broadband TV News notes that Liberty Global’s DTH operations in the region date back to 2000. The company is currently in the process of selling its UPC cable assets in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to Vodafone and following this transaction its only remaining ones will be in Poland and Slovakia. Up until now, M7 Group’s only presence in the region has been through the Skylink operation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.