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All Go for Kabel Deutschland's IPO

Kabel Deutschland GmbH , Germany's largest cable MSO with 8.9 million homes connected, looks to raise about €700 million (US$953.47 million) in an initial public offering scheduled for March 22.

According to Dow Jones, the MSO owners have set the price at between €21.50 and €25.50, giving KDG a value of about €5.3 billion ($7.2 billion), with debt included.

News of an imminent KDG IPO surfaced late last month after the MSO reportedly rejected a handful of private buyout offers that would have valued the company as high as $7.5 billion. Although the IPO route won't get KDG much more than it might have gotten through a sale, the partial float will keep KDG out of the hands of cable pioneer John Malone and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), which just made a $5.2 billion play to snap up Germany's second-largest MSO, Unitymedia GmbH , and put that newly won property under Liberty's UPC Broadband umbrella. (See Kabel Deutschland to Float an IPO? , Liberty Global Completes Unitymedia Buy, and Liberty Splashes $5.2B on German Operator.)

KDG is expected to sell up to 45 million shares. Bloomberg says the IPO will be Germany's largest in more than two years.

KDG's IPO is coming into play as the German cable market appears poised for growth and ready to deploy advanced services such as Docsis 3.0. Cable Europe Labs CTO Peter Percosan summed up the broadband situation in Germany at the recent Cable Next-Gen Broadband Strategies 2010 event in Denver. Check out the video segment below for more:



Providence Equity Partners has an 88 percent stake in KDG. The Teachers Pension Plan owns about 8 percent, and KDG Management holds the remaining 4 percent.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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