Warburg Pincus solicits interest in Inea stake - report

Friday 11 August 2017 | 12:55 CET | News

The Warburg Pincus fund, holding 72 percent of Polish cable operator Inea, is testing interest from potential buyers, reported Puls Biznesu. Initial offers were received in July and binding offers are expected by mid-September. Based on the portal's information, applicants interested the most include infrastructure funds Macquarie Group, Antin Infrastructure and Partners Group.

UPC Poland is also looking at Inea's books, but a transaction with UPC is unlikely as its acquisition of Multimedia Polska is still being processed. Another applicant is Orange Poland, which after a break in investments has been taking a true fibre-optics infrastructure offensive since 2016.

The fund promotes Inea as an infrastructure asset, valued at ten times EBITDA. To compare, in 2016, UPC valued Multimedia at nine times EBITDA. The price at which bidding will start is estimated at PLN 1.5 billion.

Janusz Kosinski, CEO of Inea, holds 27 percent. Although it is the shares of Warburg Pincus that are up for sale, Kosinski does not exclude selling his stake.

Based on UKE's data for 2016, Inea has an 11 percent share of the FTTH market. The group served 240,000 subscribers in the retail segment at the end of 2016, providing each with two services on average. Under the second POPC tender, Inea won co-financing of PLN 200 million.

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