EC approves UPC Poland sale to Xavier Niel’s Play

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Liberty Global’s Polish operation, UPC Polska, by mobile giant Play, owned by French media tycoon Xavier Niel.

UPC said that the acquisition, which it now expects to complete on April 1, will enable the creation of a national champion in the market for digital convergent services.

The approval follows a deal for the sale of the operation to Play, the Polish subsidiary of Niel’s Iliad Group, in September.

That agreement valued Liberty’s Polish operation at PLN7 billion (€1.5 billion), representing approximately nine times UPC Poland’s estimated 2021 Adjusted EBITDA, and close to 20 times its estimated 2021 operating free cash flow.

For Iliad Group, the acquisition of UPC Poland represents a big step forward in its ambitions for the Polish market following its acquisition of Play two years ago

Liberty’s networks in Poland passed 3.7 million homes and served 1.5 million customers who subscribed to 1.3 million broadband, 1.4 million video, and over 600,000 telephony services as of June 30.

Play has over 15 million subscribers. It provides mobile voice, messaging, data and video services for consumers and businesses.

Iliad Grou operates as Free in France and iliad in Italy.

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