Cablers Ish, Iesy to link in Germany

Value of transaction not disclosed

COLOGNE — Germany’s second- and third-ranked TV cable providers, Ish and Iesy, respectively, have announced they will combine their operations.

Iesy, which operates in the state of Hesse, and Kabelnetz NRW, holding company for North Rhine Westphalia-based Ish, said Friday that they had signed a definitive agreement.

According to the deal, Iesy will acquire Ish for cash.

While the value of the transaction was not disclosed, Ish is valued at around S1.6 billion ($2.2 billion).

Ish’s existing shareholders will be given the opportunity to reinvest in the combined business. Iesy is owned by investment group Apollo and reaches 1.2 million households. Ish, with 4 million households, is owned by a group of banks including Citigroup and Deutsche Bank.

In September, Germany’s largest cable provider, Kabel Deutschland, failed in its attempt to take over regional ops Ish, Iesy and Kabel BW. That’s because the cartel office would not give a greenlight, fearing market domination by KD.

The same regulator nixed John Malone’s Liberty Media’s similar effort in 2002.

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