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Embattled Euro cabler UPC ups Riordan

Prexy tapped as CEO

Amsterdam-based United Pan-Europe Communications on Friday promoted prexy John Riordan to CEO of the giant European cable company.

He replaces former chief exec Mark Schneider, who resigned last month as UPC announced dismal financial results. The company’s debt load has ballooned as it invested in new services, and its share price has plummeted this year, raising the possibility that it may be delisted from the Amsterdam and Nasdaq stock exchanges.

Riordan, an Irish citizen, has been a member of UPC’s management board since September 1998 and was appointed president in June 1999. He also belongs to UPC’s supervisory board.

Prior to joining UPC, he was chairman-CEO of Irish TV company Princes Holdings.

UPC has 7.2 million subscribers, and its cable networks pass nearly 11 million homes. It is owned by Denver-based UnitedGlobalCom, in turn controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media, which has been rapidly expanding in Europe.

In a down market Friday UPC dipped 2.86% to 34¢ cents — a dramatic plunge from its 52-week high of $27.62.

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