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German cabler Tele Columbus preps €300m IPO

German cable operator Tele Columbus plans to launch an initial public offering by the end of the year to capture “attractive growth opportunities” in Germany.

The firm, which said over the summer it was considering floating on the stock market, has now confirmed its plans and said it expects to raise no less than €300 million (US$378 million) through the offering.

Tele Columbus plans to list on Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and said it will use the proceeds of its IPO to reduce debt and offer more flexibility so it can continue its growth strategy.

The firms said that it plans to build on its strong presence in East Germany and “substantially accelerate” its growth potential and increase profitability in the coming years. It also aims to strengthen its relationships as a trusted partner of
the housing industry.

“We are very excited about the future prospects of Tele Columbus as a public company,” said Tele Columbus CEO Ronny Verhelst. “The significant growth potential of Tele Columbus is based on one of the best performing cable networks in the German market and a very attractive customer base with significant potential for selling additional products and services beyond cable TV services. This puts us in an excellent position to further grow our business over the coming years in one of Europe’s most attractive cable markets.”

Tele Columbus is currently the third largest cable network operator in Germany, Europe’s largest cable market, connecting roughly 1.7 million connected households as of June 30, 2014.

Verhelst said that he has three objectives he wants Tele Columbus to achieve in the medium term: increase the number of products per customer from 1.4 today to 1.7; grow the monthly average revenue per customer from €14 to €17; and grow the share of upgraded households supplied with its signal from 54% to 70%.

“With our high-performance network, our clear growth strategy and the greater financial and strategic flexibility we would gain from the planned IPO, we are in an excellent position to achieve these goals,” he said.