News


Canal+ Polska investors working on possible IPO

ITI Neovision, the holding company for Polish pay TV operator Canal+ Polska, is “working with shareholders and advisors” on a possible IPO that minority shareholders are entitled to trigger.

The company said in a statement that Canal+ Group intends to maintain its role as a strategic shareholder in the company regardless of the outcome of the IPO discussion.

ITI Neovision’s minority shareholders are Discovery-owned TVN, with a 32% stake, and Liberty Global’s investment arm, LGI Ventures, which holds a 17% stake. It is not clear from the company’s statement whether one or both of these groups are planning to use the potential flotation of the company to exit.

Discovery and rival satellite pay TV service Cyfrowy Polsat last year teamed up to create a joint OTT TV offering for the Polish and international markets. The initial model will be focused on AVOD and the service aims to be available on all platforms. However, the partners aim to introduce SVOD at a later date.

The pair said at the time that their existing OTT TV platforms will continue to be made available to viewers for now.Canal+ channels are currently distributed on TVN’s Player.pl offering, while Cyfrowy Polsat owns the Ipla.tv platform.

Liberty Global, the group’s other shareholder through its investment unit, owns cable operator UPC Poland.

In other Polish news, cable operator Vectra has completed the acquisition of Multimedia Polska, creating a new number one player in the country’s cable market. The enlarged Vectra will provde cable TV, broadband internet and phone services to about 1.7 million subscribers, compared with UPC Poland’s 1.5 million.

Completion of the acquisition follows approval of the deal by the Polish competition watchdog, the UOKiK.

The watchdog has required the sale of networks in eight cities in which the market shares of the merger partners is particularly high, with Vectra required to enable consumers to change operators without incurring additional costs in a further 13 locations.