Swedish triple-play cableco Com Hem has been put up for sale, and is expected to fetch at least SEK13 billion (USD1.9 billion) and up to SEK18 billion, local newspaper Dagens Industri reported this morning, whilst naming TeliaSonera, Telenor, TDC, Tele2 and 3 Group as potential buyers. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in 2003 Com Hem was sold by TeliaSonera to Swedish risk capital group EQT, which in turn sold it to US private equity houses Carlyle Group and Providence Equity in a USD1.4 billion deal completed in May 2006. The following month Com Hem enlarged its cable network reach and user base when US-based cable group Liberty Global Inc sold 100% of Stockholm-based UPC Sweden to Carlyle and Providence for USD435 million. The Dagens Industri report said that Sweden’s dominant telecoms group TeliaSonera has already made enquiries to the European Commission’s anti-monopoly authorities about the likelihood of gaining permission to repurchase Com Hem after it offloaded the cableco to satisfy anti-competition concerns related to the merger of Sweden’s Telia and Finland’s Sonera.
Com Hem reported that its cable broadband internet customers reached 536,900 at end-September 2010, whilst its cable telephony subscriber base stood at 364,900 at that date. The operator’s July-September revenues rose by 7% year-on-year to SEK1.08 billion, helping drive quarterly EBITDA up 14% to SEK490 million. Com Hem currently has about 650 employees in Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo, Vasteras and Harnosand, and operates a triple-play cable network passing nearly 40% of the Swedish population.