German Cable Operator Tele Columbus Eyeing $360 Million IPO

The Berlin-based company is Germany's third-largest cable company

In what could be a good sign for the European media industry in 2015, German cable TV group Tele Columbus announced it has revived plans for an initial public offer, with the company set to list its stock on the Frankfurt exchange in the first half of this year.

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Berlin-based Tele Columbus, Germany's third-largest cable TV operator, is looking to raise at least $362 million (€300 million) in its IPO, which will include new shares as well as stock from existing owners through a holding company. The estimate does not include a potential 10 percent additional new shares, which Tele Columbus can issue as part of an option it has.

The company plans to use the bulk of proceeds from the IPO to pay off existing debt and provide "more financial flexibility" as Tele Columbus aims to expand its footprint. Currently, the company serves around 1.7 million homes, most of them in Eastern Germany.

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Tele Columbus is under pressure from rivals, including John Malone's Liberty Global and mobile carrier Vodafone, which are aggressively expanding in Germany in a bid to link up fixed-line and mobile networks. Tele Columbus had tried to sell itself off to Kabel Deutschland, Germany's leading cable group, but the deal was blocked in 2013 by German regulators.

Kabel Deutschland was later bought by Vodafone in a $10 billion-plus deal.

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