TCI Int’l’s cable Irish sweepstakes

Deal with UIH brings $71 mil, higher stake in Princes

NEW YORK — Tele-Communications Intl. (TINTA) continues to consolidate its international cable holdings, announcing Monday that it will sell off its Israeli and Maltese interests while increasing its stake in Ireland.

TINTA is a Tele-Communications Inc. subsidiary that has various partnerships to provide cable services to 4.3 million subscribers in Europe, Asia and Latin America and satellite services to other overseas subscribers.

Monday’s agreement is essentially a three-part deal with United Intl. Holdings. The companies entered into an agreement that TINTA would transfer to UIH its 23.3% interest in Tevel Israel Intl. Communications and its 25% interest in Malta’s Melita Cable TV.

In return, TINTA would receive $71 million in cash, plus an additional 25% in Princes Holdings, the Irish cable and microwave-multichannel distribution company.

TINTA already owns 25% of the Irish property, prompting TINTA CEO David Evans to remark, “Increasing our stake in Princes Holding to 50% is a sound investment and a natural addition to the extensive interest we currently have in the United Kingdom.”

The transaction is slated for completion this year, pending approval from other venture partners and regulatory bodies, and sufficient financing is obtained by UIH.