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BC Partners to acquire Com Hem

International private equity firm BC Partners has signed an agreement to acquire Com Hem, Sweden’s leading TV, broadband and telephony company, from The Carlyle Group (Carlyle) and Providence Equity Partners (Providence). Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Com Hem has grown to become Sweden’s largest distributor of TV services, with approximately 40 per cent of Sweden’s households connected to their network. In addition, the company has a significant and growing mix of digital TV, broadband and telephony services.
"We are delighted to be backing a strong management team at Sweden’s leading cable TV operator and provider of communication and entertainment services to almost two million households. Com Hem’s defensive growth profile and strong platform and infrastructure, should enable its continued growth, as we look to invest in expanding its digital TV and high speed broadband offering", says Nikos Stathopoulos, Managing Partner of BC Partners.
“BC Partners has an international telecom expertise and knows our business very well. I am convinced that we, with BC Partners as our new owner, will further develop our already strong position on the Swedish market”, says Tomas Franzén, CEO at Com Hem.
Carlyle and Providence acquired Com Hem from EQT in 2006 and, in the same year, they acquired UPC, which was integrated with Com Hem. Under the ownership of Carlyle and Providence, the company has invested nearly SEK 4 billion on developing the company, upgrading the network to the highest international standard and developing new services such as TV-On-Demand and broadband up to 200 Mbit/s.
Benoit Colas, Managing Director of Carlyle Europe Partners, says: “Com Hem has proved to be an excellent investment for Carlyle and Providence, having delivered strong growth and robust performance even through challenging economic times. We congratulate Tomas Franzén and his team for their extraordinary achievements during our partnership.”
Karim Tabet, a Managing Director at Providence, says: “We are proud of the role we and our partners have played in Com Hem’s growth and development. Over the last five and a half years, the company has invested in its network, its customer service and launched a number of advanced services to put it at the forefront of cable operators worldwide.”
Completion is expected in September 2011 subject to receiving EU regulatory approval.

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