Denmark’s TDC is reportedly considering a bid for Com Hem, a leading Swedish cable firm that went public in June and could be valued at around $1.56 billion, in the latest instance of a European operator showing an appetite for cable assets.
According to Reuters, TDC is talking to banks about supporting its bid. BC Partners, a European equity firm, acquired Com Hem in 2011 and has retained a 48 per cent stake in the business.
European operators have increasingly been on the trail of cable television assets, with Vodafone in the lead.
Discussions regarding a potential deal with Com Hem are thought to have been on and off since they began earlier this year.
Com Hem connects about 40 per cent of Swedish households. It has more than 600,000 digital TV subscribers.
TDC is looking to expand in the Nordic region to spur growth in the face of increasing competitive and regulatory pressures on its traditional fixed and mobile businesses. In September, it agreed a $2.2 billion deal to buy Get, a Norwegian cable-TV provider.
One source is of the opinion that it might be too soon for TDC to go through with another big deal.
Sources also say that if such a deal took place, it may cause TDC’s rivals in the Nordic region, TeliaSonera and Tele2, to make TDC a target of a takeover.
TeliaSonera has already agreed to merge its Danish operations with those of Telenor. If the deal goes ahead, the two companies will be equal partners in a new joint venture rivalling TDC, currently the market leader.
TeliaSonera is also in the process of acquiring the Norwegian unit of Tele2, although the Norwegian Competition Authority has raised a number of objections to the deal.