UPC, Telekabel to merge

AMSTERDAM — UPC (United and Philips Communications) Nederland has inked an agreement to merge with Telekabel, a subsidiary of Dutch energy company Nuon.

The merger will create United Telekabel Holding, the largest cable company in Holland. It will also give U.S.-based United Intl. Holdings a much fatter slice of the Dutch cable market.

The deal gives United Telekabel Holding some 1.3 million subscribers. That’s compared to the 1.1 million subscribers held by Casema, a subsid of the Dutch post and telephone company KPN.

UPC is 100% owned by United Intl. Holdings. UPC also owns a 50% share of Amsterdam cable company A2000 (American telecom US West owns the other half). Philips had previously owned 50% of UPC but recently sold its shares back to United Intl. Holdings.

The merger could inject some jitters into the late-stage negotiations between France Telecom and KPN over the sale of Casema, since it displaces Casema as cable market leader in Holland.

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