(NEW YORK, November 6, 2002) -- VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, the private equity affiliate of media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson ("VSS"), has joined GMT Communications Partners ("GMT"), Europe's leading private equity specialist in the Communications sector, in its investment in German cable operator, PEPcom. GMT & VSS's joint Euro 50 million investment will enable PEPcom, an acquisition vehicle focused on consolidating small to medium sized cable TV operators in Germany, to continue its consolidation programme.
In June 2001, funds managed by GMT committed Euro 25 million to PEPcom in partnership with Heinz-Peter Labonte, an entrepreneur and cable TV veteran of 20 years in Germany who has a proven record of operational and financial success through his last cable TV venture, Smatcom.
PEPcom is now one of the fastest growing cable TV companies in Germany, having already completed five acquisitions since November 2001, representing over 50,000 subscribers with an aggregate enterprise value of Euro 27 million. PEPcom also has further acquisitions in the pipeline which are ready to close. In line with the initial strategy, this current round of funding from VSS will help continue PEPcom's acquisition programme and facilitate its stated target of having 300,000 subscribers by the end of 2003.
Jeffrey Montgomery, Managing Partner, GMT, commented:
"We are delighted to be partnered by VSS in our investment in PEPcom. It is a testimony to Heinz's abilities and the proven success of the strategy to date that PEPcom has been able to raise expansion capital in these difficult market conditions. Since 2001, PEPcom has consistently increased its subscriber base and we are confident that it is on schedule to reach its target of 300,000 subscribers by 2003."
Jeffrey Stevenson, co-CEO of VSS, said:
"PEPcom is a wonderful addition to our portfolio. The growth capital provided by VSS will enable PEPcom to accelerate its acquisition programme towards its target of 300,000 subscribers. We are delighted to be partnering with GMT and Heinz-Peter and look forward to building on the excellent platform of acquisitions laid down over the past year."
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