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NTL acquires Swiss cable market leader Cablecom

Switzerland’s leading cable network operator Cablecom is sold to British broadband telecommunications company NTL for SFr5.8 billion ($3.7 million), Cablecom management said on Monday.

This content was published on December 13, 1999 - 12:42

Switzerland’s leading cable network operator Cablecom is sold to British broadband telecommunications company NTL for SFr5.8 billion ($3.7 million), Cablecom management said on Monday.

Cablecom’s three main shareholders -- Switzerland’s Swisscom and German companies Siemens and Veba -- said they were selling their respective one-third stakes in Cablecom.

A workforce of 1.300 and 1.3 million subscribers make Cablecom Switzerland’s leading cable network operator. Cablecom has a penetration rate of 96 percent in its service areas and delivers signals via its national fibre backbone to other cable operators, who serve a further 300,000 cable homes.

Over 90 percent of television broadcasting in Switzerland is delivered over cable networks. Cablecom also owns SwissOnline, the second largest ISP in Switzerland and one of the country's most popular portals with approximately 140,000 customers.

Cablecom Holding board member Manfred Nagel said NTL, which serves 2.2 million customers, was a “competent and experienced company that would bring significant know-how to Cablecom.”

NTL CEO Barclay Knapp described Cablecom as a “well-managed company with a very high quality network.”

"In terms of our overall European strategy it is particularly important to have acquired a network at the very heart of Europe and Cablecom is one of Europe's premier communications assets," Knapp said.

NTL offers telephone, Internet and television services across the United Kingdom. Through its latest acquisition, NTL will become the largest alternative fixed link telecommunications operator in the fast growing Swiss telecom market.

Earlier this year, NTL teamed up with France Telecom to buy the cable TV business of British market leader Cable & Wireless Communications.

NTL's latest deal still has to be approved by the regulatory bodies but Cablecom said it hoped to complete the transaction by mid-2000.

From staff and wire reports.

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