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Positive outlook for cable financing

Cable investment is currently more suited to the public market as opposed to private investment, according to Providence Equity’s managing director Karim Tabet.

Speaking at Cable Congress, Tabet said the IPO of Kabel Deutschland and near-IPOs of other German operators had left investors “hungry”.

Speaking on the same panel, Marisa Drew, managing director, co-head of global markets solutions group Credit Suisse said that the availability of finance for cable operators was improving. “Last year started out with all markets flowing, there was capital in the industry. Then, as European fears started to permeate the markets, the second half was non-functioning, no capital was raised,” she said. “In 2012, investor psychology has shifted.” This year, she said, the cable space has seen about €2 billion of financing. Drew highlighted the “seminal” IPO proposed by Dutch operator Ziggo, “on the back of no real IPO for a year”.

When asked about Liberty Global’s capacity to buy Ziggo, Drew said the operator was well placed: “Liberty Global has very strong cash flow, lots of debt capacity. The markets would support the financing.”