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    Play will acquire the UPC network. “The group can snarl the market up”

    The French owner of Play will spend PLN 7 billion on the vice-leader of the Polish cable TV market. The merged group may snarl the market up – writes Thursday’s “Puls Biznesu”.

    “PB” reminds that at the end of July the French group Iliad, which controls the Play company, announced that it had made a non-binding offer to acquire UPC Poland from the American LibertyGlobal. “Now the agreement has been signed – by virtue of it, the Polish network of UPC will be acquired by the French for PLN 7 billion. The transaction must be approved by Competition and Consumer Protection Office (UOKiK),” the daily stresses.


    “The integration of Play and UPC Poland will create a unique opportunity for Play to grow at the next stage. Play and UPC will join forces to create a strong convergent operator in Poland,” says Jean-Marc Harion, Play’s CEO, quoted in the company’s announcement.


    “PB” explains that the deal marks the merger of the second largest player on the Polish mobile market in terms of customer numbers with the second largest player on the cable TV market. He recalls that Play had over PLN 3.6bn in revenues and PLN 1.7bn in EBITDAaL (operating profit plus depreciation and amortisation after lease costs) in the first half of the year, supported by 12.3m active customers.


    Meanwhile, UPC – as the newspaper adds – generated less than PLN 900 million in revenue in the same period thanks to its 1.53 million client bases. “A total of 3.6 million households are within the reach of its fixed-line network,” writes “Puls Biznesu”.

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