LONDON – 28 April 2017 – Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading private equity firm, have reached an agreement to sell a ca. 18.5% interest (33.9 million shares) in Com Hem Group (“Com Hem”), Sweden’s leading cable TV and broadband operator, to Kinnevik AB, the listed Swedish media conglomerate. The sale was agreed on 27 April at a price of SEK 110 per share (representing a total of SEK 3.7 billion) and will see BC Partners fully exit from its investment in Com Hem.
Founded in 1983, Com Hem offers broadband, TV, play and telephony services to Swedish households and companies. The company plays an important role in Sweden’s ongoing digitalisation push, with its powerful and future-proofed broadband network that covers half of the country’s households, reaching approximately 1.5 million customers.
BC Partners invested in Com Hem in 2011 and since that time has worked closely with the company to transform the business into Sweden’s leading ‘triple play’ digital telecommunications provider. Operational improvements pursued under BC Partners’ ownership included strengthening the management team; implementing new customer satisfaction and pricing initiatives; launching new, innovative broadband products based upon superior technology to peers; acquiring and integrating Phonera to create a new B2B offering; and signing an exclusive agreement with Digital TV TiVo.
Com Hem was floated on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange in 2014 at an IPO price of SEK 58 per share. This final sell down is the fourth sale of shares by BC Partners since the company was listed and represents a 90% premium to the IPO price.
Nikos Stathopoulos, Managing Partner at BC Partners, commented: "When we first invested in Com Hem in 2011 we saw a market leader in an attractive sector with a lot of potential. During our ownership, BC Partners enjoyed working closely with the company’s strong management team in growing and future-proofing the business, cementing Com Hem's position as the leading digital communications provider in Sweden, and enabling it to play a key role in the country's converging communication landscape. We wish its management all the best for the future."
Andrew Barron, Chairman of Com Hem, commented: "On behalf of the management, Board and shareholders of Com Hem, we would like to thank BC Partners for their committed and highly successful stewardship of the company over the last six years. They leave behind a transformed company with strong prospects, and many friends. We wish them well."
BC Partners is a leading international private equity firm with over €15 billion of assets under management. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for nearly three decades. BC Partners executives operate as an integrated team through the firm's offices in Europe and North America, acquiring and developing businesses to create value in partnership with management. Since inception, BC Partners has completed 93 investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €115 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.
Com Hem Group offers broadband, TV, play and telephony services to Swedish households and companies. Our powerful and future-proofed broadband network with speeds up to 1 Gbit/s, covers half of the country’s households, making the Com Hem Group an important driver of creating a digital Sweden. We bring our 1.45 million customers the widest range of digital TV channels and play services via set-up boxes as well as on-the-go for tablets and smartphones. The company was founded in 1983 and has approximately 1,100 employees. Com Hem Group is headquartered in Stockholm and operates through four subsidiaries; Com Hem AB, Boxer TV Access AB, Phonera Företag AB and iTUX Communication AB. In 2016, Group sales totalled in 5,665 SEK million. Since 2014 the Com Hem share is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For more information, please visit www.comhemgroup.com.
Kinnevik is an industry focused investment company with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our purpose is to build the digital consumer businesses that provide more and better choice. We do this by working in partnership with talented founders and management teams to create, invest in and lead fast growing businesses in developed and emerging markets. We believe in delivering both shareholder and social value by building well governed companies that contribute positively to society. Kinnevik was founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families. Kinnevik's shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm's list for large cap companies under the ticker codes KINV A and KINV B.
Andrew Honnor / Charlotte Balbirnie / Alex Jones
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