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Kabel Deutschland eyes acquisition opportunities

Jörn Krieger RapidTVNews | 15-10-2010
Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland (KDG) calls for further mergers in the German cable industry and wants to play an active part in the process. “With regard to industry politics and the economic side, consolidation in the cable market would make sense,” CEO Adrian von Hammerstein told financial magazine “Börse Online”.
“We are in competition with large international telecommunications companies. They consolidate not nationally, but internationally. They do this because scaling is an important success factor in the network business. This is also the case for us. If we want to remain at eye level with the telecommunications companies, then consolidation would be helpful,” said von Hammerstein.
He rejected speculation suggesting KDG could soon take over Germany’s third-largest cable company Kabel BW which is owned by Swedish private equity company EQT. “A purchase of Kabel BW is not currently on the cards. This would be very difficult anti-trust-wise alone.” Industry observers expect KDG to instead acquire parts of the networks of smaller cable operators like Tele Columbus or PrimaCom which are based within its own coverage areas as part of its consolidation strategy.
This year KDG expects a net loss between €25 and €40 million, said von Hammerstein. “A lot will depend on the development of the interest rates. We expect the loss to be more likely €25 million that €40 million. Next year we want to reach the black figures, but we can’t say yet which figure will end up below the line.” Turnover is expected to climb between 6.5% and 7% this year.

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