Kaprain Industrial Holding, which already owns the Czech Republic’s second largest cable broadband and TV provider Nej.cz, is expanding its reach via the buyout of the country’s number three player – RIO Media – from Argus Capital. No financial details have been released for the deal which will need the approval of the Office for Protection of Competition (UOHS) if it is to go ahead. If ratified, Kaprain will have a cable operation spanning more than 200,000 Czech households, reports say. The group acquired Nej.cz from BKS Cable (Malta) in October 2016 and has now added the significant string of RIO Media, which was established by Argus in 2008 as a consolidation vehicle to bring together several smaller players, and today provides voice telephony, internet and TV services, with a presence in over 30 towns and cities in North Bohemia, Klatovy, Olomouc and North Moravia. Kaprain founder Karel Prazak says that amalgamating the two firms will create an entity to compete both with the incumbent PSTN operator O2 CR and the country’s leading cableco, Liberty Global-backed UPC Ceska Republika. Prazak, who founded Kaprain in 2013, added that the group is currently considering other consolidation opportunities in the Czech market.
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