Ziggo

Activity
Cable operator
Transaction value
€5,450 million
Acquired
Sep 2006/Jan 2007
Realised
Nov 2012
Sector
TMT

Business
Ziggo is the leading cable operator in the Netherlands, providing analogue and digital television, broadband and telephony services to consumers and businesses. The Ziggo network passes approximately 56% of all Dutch households and the company serves around 3.1 million homes. The Netherlands is one of the most attractive cable markets in Europe: 75% of households receive their TV through a cable connection and the direct billing relationship between the cable operators and households enables cable companies to market ‘triple-play’ services very effectively. Ziggo’s hybrid fiber coaxial network is one of the most technically advanced in Europe offering download speeds of up to 120 Mbps across the entire network. In 2010, Ziggo generated revenues of €1.4 billion.

Strategy
Cinven formed Ziggo by acquiring and subsequently merging three of the four largest cable operators in the Netherlands, building on our TMT sector team’s understanding of the cable market, our relationships with management and the sellers, and the experience we gained through the creation of Numericable in France. Cinven’s strategy at the time of the acquisition was to create a leading Dutch cable operator with a ‘multi-play’ offering of digital TV, broadband and telephony, to realise synergies by merging the three companies and to improve the customer experience.

Progress
During the acquisition, the company made significant investments in the network of more than €1 billion, allowing Ziggo to offer improved digital TV, high-speed broadband, and telephony services to its customers. At the end of 2010, 35% of Ziggo’s customers had subscribed to triple-play ‘bundles’, which combine TV, broadband and telephony. The cornerstone of Ziggo’s strategy was to continue to leverage its superior network and product proposition to increase market share and grow revenues from existing customers by increasing the penetration of triple-play bundles and digital pay TV. In addition, the company focused on growing in the business market by offering services to small and medium-sized enterprises.

In March 2012, Ziggo completed its highly successful IPO on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. Cinven sold 25% of its interest in Ziggo but still retained a 27% shareholding in the business post IPO. Cinven subsequently sold further tranches of shares in a strong after market and its final shares in April 2013, generating total proceeds of €1.7 billion for the fourth Cinven fund and a total money multiple of 2.8x.