iliad to acquire Polish internet service provider UPC Poland for $1.78bn
French telecommunication services provider iliad Group, through its subsidiary — Play, has agreed to acquire cable operator UPC Poland for PLN 7.0 billion ($1.78 billion).
UPC Poland is the Polish telecommunications business of Liberty Global Europe.
It is counted among the largest internet service providers in Poland with 3.7 million homes passed in Fiber to the x (FTTx) and 1.5 million subscribers.
UPC Poland earned revenue of PLN 1.7 billion in 2020.
iliad Group said that the acquisition of UPC Poland is its next step in the Polish telecoms market after the acquisition of Play, a Polish telecom operator, in 2020.
The French group said that UPC Poland and Play when combined will be the second largest telecom operator in the Polish market. Their combined revenues for 2020 were €1.96 billion.
At the time of closing, UPC Poland will become a subsidiary of Play.
Thomas Reynaud — CEO of iliad Group said: “The acquisition of UPC Poland comes with a willingness to accelerate investment in fiber network. At iliad/Play we are determined to invest in next-generation mobile and broadband networks and services.
“This long-term ambition to foster nationwide connectivity will contribute to the digital transformation of the Polish economy and benefit the consumers and businesses with more innovative and comprehensive offers. Once approved, we look forward to combining forces and welcoming UPC’s employees to the Play/iliad family”.
iliad Group said that UPC Poland’s integration with Play will support innovation in products and investments in fiber networks for the B2C and B2B segments. The combination of Play and UPC Poland will fully cover Poland and will serve over 17 million mobile and fixed subscribers.
For Liberty Global, the sale will result in nearly $600 million after debt repayment, and boost the company’s cash balance.
Jean-Marc Harion — CEO of Play said: “The combination of Play and UPC Poland offers a unique opportunity to take Play to the next level and we are excited to start working with UPC teams to deliver on our new ambition. Play has a strong track record of successfully fulfilling customers’ needs.
“UPC Poland has built a very strong platform based on high quality standards. Play and UPC will join their forces to create a strong convergent operator in Poland.”
The deal, which is subject to clearance from the relevant authorities, is anticipated to close in the first half of next year.