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White & Case and SK&S Advise on Liberty Global Sale of UPC Poland to Play

White & Case and SK&S Advise on Liberty Global Sale of UPC Poland to Play

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White & Case has advised telecommunications company Liberty Global on its PLN 7 billion sale of cable operator UPC Poland to Polish mobile network Play. Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak and Bredin Prat advised the buyer on the deal.

Closing is expected in 2022, pending regulatory approval.

According to SK&S, UPC Poland has 1.5 million subscribers and offers access to FTTx technology for 3.7 million households, while Play provides services to 12.9 million customers. The transaction will allow Play and UPC to provide telecommunications services to over 17 million subscribers, according to the firm.

Play is the Polish subsidiary of French telecommunication services provider Iliad Group, operating in France, Italy, and Poland and serving 42.7 million subscribers.

Liberty Global provides converged broadband, video, and mobile communications services to 85 million subscribers in Europe and the United Kingdom.

"This transaction highlights, yet again, the significant value of fiber-rich HFC networks in Europe, as well as the substantial synergy benefits inherent in fixed-mobile convergence mergers", Liberty Global’s CEO Mike Fries commented. "UPC Poland, the largest cable television operator and a leading provider of triple-play services in Poland, and Play, which covers 99% of the Polish population with its mobile services, together will have the scale from Day One to be a powerful force in the Polish market."

White & Case, Bredin Prat, and Soltysinski, Kawecki & Szlezak have advised on the Iliad Group's previous transaction, the acquisition of Play (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 28, 2020), with SK&S and Bredin Prat also advising on Iliad's sale of passive infrastructure in Poland (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on November 2, 2020).

The White & Case team was led by Paris-based Partners Saam Golshani and Guillaume Vitrich and Warsaw-based Partner Rafal Kaminski and Local Partner Aneta Hajska. It included Paris-based Partner Estelle Philippi and Associates Alexandre Balat, Nicolas Alfonsi, and Claire Sardet, Brussels-based Partners Mark Powell and Katarzyna Czapracka, and Warsaw-based Counsel Grzegorz Jukiel and Associates Adam Marszalek and Maciej Gac.

The Bredin Prat team consisted of Partners Olivier Assant, Florence Haas, Julien Gayral, and Yelena Trifounovitch, Attorneys-at-law Clemence Carlier and Samuel Pariente, and Associates Marine Blottiaux, Apolline Vanackere, Camille Marpillat, Charley Bailliard, Elsa Tessier, Juliette Crouzet, and Lauriane Billette.

The SK&S team was led by Partner Marcin Olechowski and included Partners Andrzej Motyka, Slawomir Luczak, and Agnieszka Fedor, Senior Counsel Marta Kupczak-Strzelecka, Senior Associates Karol Skibniewski, Bartlomiej Debski, Filip Sodulski, Joanna Marek, and Damian Kopera, and Associates Michal Oles, Mikolaj Stepkowski, Magdalena Polak, and Katarzyna Klonecka.

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