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Reuters – Primacom Auction Extended

The deadline for an auction to sell German cable operator Primacom has been extended by about two months, Reuters reported Monday. The move is a sign that potential bidders are struggling to put together indicative offers as the euro zone crisis roils global markets. Deutsche Telekom, Pepcom, Unitymedia KabelBW, part of Liberty Global, and two infrastructure funds are expected to be among the bidders, Reuters said.

 

(Reuters) – The deadline for an auction to sell German cable operator Primacom has been extended by about two months, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

 

The move is a sign that potential bidders are struggling to put together indicative offers as the euro zone crisis roils global markets.

 

Some of the bidders had asked for the deadline to be extended beyond the original date at the end of July, the source said.

 

Deutsche Telekom, Pepcom, Unitymedia KabelBW , part of Liberty Global, and two infrastructure funds are expected to be among the bidders, the source said.

 

Unitymedia KabelBW Chief Executive Lutz Schueler, asked whether he made an offer, declined to comment.

 

“But if you just look at where Primacom is active and where we are, you can see that Primacom doesn’t have that much clients where we have,” he told Reuters.

 

“We have already bought (activities in) Wiesbaden and Aachen from Primacom and the other activities are a little far away from where we opperate. We will continue to look at it, but it is not directly in our distribution area.”

 

The German cable market was once one of Europe’s most fragmented, with a proliferation of smaller regional players offering television and broadband services.

 

But private equity firms and companies like Liberty Global and Kabel Deutschland have restructured the market by buying up smaller companies to create more efficient larger players.

 

Kabel Deutschland has said it would not participate.

 

Primacom’s owners, a group of former creditors including ING Groep, fund managers Alcentra Group, Tennenbaum Capital and Avenue Capital, had pressed ahead with an accelerated auction process in May, in the hope of selling the cable operator for around 400 million euros ($496.52 million).

 

Primacom could not immediately be reached for comment.