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GMT Communications Partners, Providence Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group sell Casema to Cinven and Warburg Pincus for €2.1 Billion | July 2006


Paris, London and The Hague, July 18, 2006 – The Carlyle Group, Providence Equity Partners and GMT Communications Partners (the “Sponsors”) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement with Cinven and Warburg Pincus under which Cinven and Warburg Pincus will acquire Casema for €2.1 billion.

 

Casema is a leading provider of cable, Internet and telephony services to residential and business customers in the Netherlands. The Company is the third largest cable operator in the country, passing 1.5 million homes. The Company’s current customer base represents approximately 21% of all Dutch households.

 

The Sponsors acquired Casema in January 2003 from France Telecom, with Providence and Carlyle each owning 46% of the Company and GMT 8%. Under the ownership of the Sponsors and management of Chief Executive Officer Jos Molenkamp who joined shortly after the acquisition, Casema invested in excess of €250 million in its network and infrastructure. The Company has been transformed from a utility-like analog television provider into the leading “triple play” operator in the Netherlands, offering digital television, broadband internet and telephony to the Dutch consumers. As of June 30, 2006, the Company had 1.3 million television subscribers (of which 112,000 subscribed to digital packages), 400,000 broadband internet and 136,000 telephony subscribers. Additionally, Casema has achieved revenue growth of 10% annually since 2002 and approximately doubled EBITDA, while increasing its headcount to approximately 1,050 from 750 employees at the end of 2002.

 

Benoît Colas, Managing Director at Carlyle said: "We are very pleased with our investment in Casema. This success is due to the strengths of the Casema business and the great work done by management since the acquisition. We are also very proud of having accompanied the Company through this major transformation into one of the leading triple-play operators in Europe.”

 

Jörg Mohaupt, Managing Director at Providence said: “Thanks to the leadership of Jos and his team, the hard work of our partners, and the dedication of all Casema employees, we have added significant value to the company over the past three years and helped Casema grow, enhance its product offerings and customer service, and improve its financial position. We are confident that Casema has a bright future with its new partners.”

 

Jos Molenkamp, CEO of Casema said: “Casema has established itself as a strong competitor with an exceptional product offering, a large and sophisticated customer base, and one of the most reliable broadband networks. We are pleased with the Company’s success in delivering excellent service to all of our customers.” The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2006, is subject to regulatory approvals.

 

Goldman Sachs International acted as sole financial advisor to the Sponsors.

 


For further information, please contact: 

 

GMT Communications:

Jeff Montgomery  +44 (0)20 7292 9360

 


About Casema:

With over 30 years of experience and around 1.3 million subscribers, Casema is one of the Netherlands' leading cable operators. The Casema network is located mainly in the central and southwestern parts of the Netherlands and serves such cities as The Hague, Utrecht and Breda. Casema has rapidly developed from cable television operator to full service provider, offering an extensive package of electronic services via the cable. Visit www.casema.nl for additional information.

 

About Providence Equity Partners:

Providence Equity Partners Inc. is a global private investment firm specializing in equity investments in media and entertainment, communications and information companies around the world. The principals of Providence Equity manage funds with over $9 billion in equity commitments and have invested in more than 80 companies operating in over 20 countries since the firm's inception in 1990. Significant investments include Bresnan Broadband Holdings, Comhem, Education Management Corporation, eircom, Kabel Deutschland, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Ono, PanAmSat, ProSiebenSat.1, Recoletos, VoiceStream Wireless, Warner Music Group, and Western Wireless. Providence Equity is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York and London. Visit www.provequity.com for additional information.

 

About The Carlyle Group:

The Carlyle Group is a global private equity firm with $41.9 billion under management. Carlyle invests in buyouts, venture & growth capital, real estate and leveraged finance in Asia, Europe and North America, focusing on telecommunications & media, industrial, automotive & transportation, aerospace, consumer & retail, energy & power, technology & business services and healthcare. Since 1987, the firm has invested $19.7 billion of equity in 500 transactions for a total purchase price of $79.7 billion. The Carlyle Group employs more than 670 people in 15 countries. In the aggregate, Carlyle portfolio companies have more than $46 billion in revenue and employ more than 184,000 people around the world. Significant telecom and media investments include Comhem, Insight, Taiwan Broadband, Willcom, PanAmSat, Hawaï Telecom and VNU. Visit www.carlyle.com for additional information.


About GMT Communications Partners:
GMT Communications Partners is Europe's largest independent private equity group focused exclusively on the communications sector, having actively invested in the European marketplace for the past decade. GMT’s founders created the first pan-European fund focused on the media and telecommunications sectors, Baring Communications Equity, in 1992 with the backing of investment bank ING Barings. Since that time, the Group has completed 25 investments across 17 countries and has managed a series of successful funds comprising €700 million of capital. The Partners of

GMT have together completed over 100 transactions in the European media and telecoms industry. Significant investments include Orion Publishing Group (UK), Mobifon (Romania), Invitel (Hungary), YBR Group (Netherlands), Internet Network Services (UK), Multicom (Sweden), EUSA (Spain), Redext (Spain) and PEPcom (Germany).