Telia continues to explore options for com hem: potential for IPO
- 2000-07-28 22:00 UTC
Due to com hem:s recent success in delivering broadband services, Telia is exploring a range of options for com hem, the largest cable TV operator in Sweden. An offering of com hem shares to the public market may be one course of action. An initial public offering would broaden com hem:s ownership and enhance Telia's value for shareholders.
Telia was initially required to divest com hem as a condition for approving the proposed merger with Telenor. Following the decision not to proceed with the merger, Telia decided in February to take up the divestment process again. Since Telia started the divestiture process, com hem has penetrated the Swedish market very successfully with its broadband offering and interactive services. During this time, the conditions in capital markets have deteriorated considerably, as well as the possibilities of potential buyers to raise funds to acquire the business on price levels and terms acceptable to Telia. Against this background, Telia believes that selling 100 percent of com hem to a single owner will not maximize value for its shareholders. Telia believes that an IPO of com hem to the public market in a suitable timeframe is likely to create greater visibility for com hem as one of the leading broadband providers in the Nordic region. About com hem com hem is the largest operator of cable TV in Sweden and currently serves 1.35 million subscribers, 61 percent of the national total. com hem provides services throughout Sweden and is the leading operator in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Cable TV is the most important channel for delivering television in Sweden. com hem is wholly owned by Telia AB. com hem has been an industry leader in deploying new services: Pay-TV in 1986 Pay-per-view in 1996 First digital cable network in Europe in 1997 com hem has invested significantly in its network, brand and product range, and at present, almost 1.3 million com hem customers are capable of receiving digital cableTV. Building owners with more than a quarter of a million cable TV users have ordered broadband connectivity. com hem has now begun a successful rollout of HipNet+, its hybrid co-axial ("HFC") two-way broadband network. This will extend broadband, pay TV and interactive services to nearly all of com hem's customers. In addition, com hem plans to launch new offerings including Internet content and mobile telephony.
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