US West pulls out of Spain

MADRID — US West International has pulled out of Spain, selling its 25% stake in Cable Televisio de Catalunya (CTC), a pilot cable TV network in Barcelona, to Italian telco Stet (12.5%) and Spain Telecommunication (12.5%).

The latter is a consortium of U.S. financiers made up of GE Capital Services, Bank America Intl. Investment Corp. and Callaghan Associates Intl.

The main reason for US West International’s withdrawal from its only cable interest in Spain, a company spokesperson told Daily Variety, was “to focus on activities in more developed cable markets such as the U.K., Netherlands and Belgium,” where Telewest co-owns cable operators Telewest Communications, A2000 and Telenet, respectively.

As a pilot project, reaching just 20,000 homes, CTC had demanded very little investment from US West, under $10 million by one estimate.

US West’s withdrawal comes just as the Spanish government has finally begun to invite applications for regional cable TV licenses in Spain.

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