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Riordan exits UPC post

Exec ankles arm of pan-Euro media giant

AMSTERDAM — John Riordan, CEO of UPC Broadband, the biggest division of UGC Europe, announced his resignation from the company Thursday.

The pan-European broadband and cable outfit UGC Europe is the company which has emerged from the recent restructure of the troubled United Pan Europe Communications (UPC).

Riordan, who said he is stepping down to spend more time with his family, has seen UPC through the most difficult year of its existence since it launched its IPO in February of 1999. He took over as the CEO and chairman of UPC in August of 2001 when the then UPC topper Mark Schneider stepped down from his post after UPC had reported the worst earnings in its history.

The company just last month emerged from Chapter 11 proceedings and a restructure under which it renamed itself UGC Europe. Gene Schneider, Mark Schneider’s father and the founder of UnitedGlobalCom, is the new CEO of UGC Europe. UnitedGlobalCom, the biggest stakeholder in UPC, is now controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media.

UGC Europe in its third-quarter earnings report posted a mild 8% rise in net revenues from a year earlier to 367 million euros ($430 million).

The fat net income of $1.9 billion the broadband and cable outfit reported came mainly from a $2.5 billion euro one off gain UGC realised when its debt was extinguished in the recent restructure. UPC’s net loss in the third quarter 2002 was $251 million.

UGC reported a 76% rise in underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to $162 million in third quarter 2003. Revs at UPC Triple Play, which covers residential, video, telephone, and Internet services, rose 10%; interactive digital division UPC Media revs rose 28% but Priority Telecom’s revs continued to fall, this time by 8%.

Gene Musselman, president and CEO of UPC Broadband, will continue to manage that division, the biggest of the UGC ops.

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