SigmaBleyzer, Providence consolidate Ukrainian cable TV market

Media and communications specialist Providence Equity Partners has boosted its investment in cable company Volia to $300m, the largest private equity investment in the country to date. SigmaBleyzer first funded Volia in 1999.

Volia Cable, the number one cable TV operator in the Ukraine, is merging with Oisiw, a regional cable operator owned by SigmaBleyzer, an Eastern European investment group. 

Volia Cable, which was founded by SigmaBleyzer through the consolidation of three separate companies acquired in 1999 and 2000, was earlier this month reported to be under investigation by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMKU). The merger between Volia and Oisiw has been approved by the committee.

As a result of the merger, the combined business will provide television services as well as high-speed internet access to over 2.5 million Ukrainian households.

In a separate transaction Providence Equity Partners, a global media and communications specialist headquartered in the US, is making an additional investment in Volia, bringing its total investment in the combined entity to more than $300 million (€190 million; £150 million).  Providence originally invested around $200 million in Volia Cable, which is controlled by SigmaBleyzer’s UGF III Fund, in December 2007.

Sergey Boyko, president of Volia Cable, will be leading the combined business and said: “I see tremendous potential in the combined operations.  We now have the platform and scale to build a unified cable brand across Ukraine and bring to the regional cities the same level and quality of service that our subscribers in Kyiv have come to rely upon.”