Volia Cable and SigmaBleyzer’s Regional Cable Business Merge to Form Pre-eminent Ukrainian Cable Provider
Providence Equity Partners Increases Its Investment in the Combined Entity to over $300 million, making it the Largest Private Equity Investment in Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, July 29, 2008 – Volia Cable (Aquorn Holdings Limited) and SigmaBleyzer’s regional cable operations (Oisiw Limited) are merging to form Ukraine’s pre-eminent cable provider with operations in over 15 of Ukraine’s largest cities. As a result of the merger, the combined business, to be named Volia Limited, will provide television service as well as highspeed Internet access to over 2.5 million Ukrainian households.
In a separate transaction, Providence Equity Partners, the world’s leading media and communications private equity firm, is making an additional investment in Volia bringing its total investment in the combined entity to over US$300 million. The transaction has been approved by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.
“We are very pleased to extend our partnership with Providence, a leading private equity investor and one of the largest and most experienced owners of media and communications companies globally,” said Michael Bleyzer, President and CEO of SigmaBleyzer. “Merging our two cable businesses makes a lot of strategic sense and will allow us to provide best in class service from a unified operating platform to our subscribers. We see Providence’s increased investment in Ukrainian cable also as a vote of confidence in the Ukrainian economy.”
“The combination of Volia Cable and SigmaBleyzer’s regional cable operations creates a cable company uniquely positioned to meet the rapidly expanding demand in Ukraine for the most advanced television and broadband services,” said Jonathan M. Nelson, Providence Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to expand our commitment to Volia and look forward to continuing to work with Michael and Sergey and their teams to build value at Volia over the long-term.”
Sergey Boyko, President of Volia Cable, will be leading the combined business and said: “I see tremendous potential in the combined operations. We now have the platform and scale to build a unified cable brand across Ukraine and bring to the regional cities the same level and quality of service that our subscribers in Kyiv have come to rely upon.” Goldman Sachs International acted as financial advisor to Oisiw Limited.
About Providence Equity Partners Inc.
Providence Equity Partners is the leading global private equity firm specializing in equity investments in media, entertainment, communications and information companies around the world. The principals of Providence manage funds with approximately $22 billion in equity commitments and have invested in more than 100 companies operating in over 20 countries since the firm`s inception in 1989. Significant investments include Bell Canada, Bresnan Broadband Holdings, Casema, Com Hem, Digiturk, Education Management Corporation, eircom, FreedomCommunications, Hulu, Idea Cellular, Kabel Deutschland, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, NexTag, Ono, Open Solutions, PanAmSat, ProSiebenSat.1, Recoletos, TDC, Univision, VoiceStream Wireless, Warner Music Group, Western Wireless and Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI (USA) and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and New Delhi.
About Volia Limited Volia Limited is the number one cable TV and Broadband Internet provider in Ukraine. As a result of the merger, the combined entity will have about 2.5 million homes passed and 1.8 million RGUs. Volia Limited provides services such as analog cable TV, digital cable TV, highspeed cable Internet access, VoIP and data services. New services, such as VoD and PPV, are under development and will be implemented in the future.
Volia Limited was created through the consolidation of a number of companies acquired by SigmaBleyzer over the past few years. Since acquisition, Volia has worked on integrating and upgrading the activities of the original cable operators.
Operating in the region for over a decade, SigmaBleyzer is one of the largest and most experienced private equity investors in Eastern Europe. With the strength of the company’s local infrastructure, western-style management and knowledge of local markets, SigmaBleyzer has created one of the best investment management companies in the region. SigmaBleyzer manages funds and special purpose investment vehicles with approximately $1 billion in commitments and has made investments in over 100 companies in Ukraine since 1994. As a manager of a family of private equity funds currently investing in Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan, SigmaBleyzer utilizes a hybrid investment approach developed specifically for emerging markets and focused on simultaneous value creation at the micro or enterprise level and at the macro level. Because of this unique approach and strong on-theground presence in a region where many of its investors could not have invested directly, SigmaBleyzer brings one of the most attractive pipelines of investment opportunities found anywhere to its client base. With offices in Kyiv and Kharkiv (Ukraine); Sofia (Bulgaria), Bucharest (Romania), Astana (Kazakhstan), and a back office in Houston, Texas, SigmaBleyzer has the infrastructure in its countries of operation to successfully manage portfolio companies to help them reach their full potential, while creating value for the investors, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.
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