Estonian cable TV company Starman, which earlier this year completed the EUR56.3 million (USD62 million) purchase of Lithuanian operator Cgates, has further strengthened its presence in the Baltic country with the acquisition of fibre-optic cable network operator KAVA. The value of the deal, which is subject to approval from Lithuania’s Competition Council and the Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT), has not been disclosed. KAVA provides telecoms services to around 20,000 customers in Vilnius, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevezys, with a network passing around 100,000 households.
In February 2015 Starman acquired 100% of Cgates in a deal that also saw the Estonian cableco’s owner – Swedish investment group East Capital Explorer – increase its ownership in Starman from 51% to 63%. Cgates is one of Lithuania’s largest cable network operators, providing cable and digital television, fixed telephony and fibre-optic broadband internet to around 200,000 customers in twelve cities, including Vilnius, Alytus, Marijampole, Vilkaviskis, Silute, Lentvaris and Kaunas. Its infrastructure currently passes around 300,000 homes. ‘Cgates is now becoming a nationwide operator, which is a milestone in our strategy for the company,’ commented Gert Tiivas, chairman of Starman, adding: ‘The acquisition of KAVA will increase the company’s household coverage by 30% and thereby strengthen its position in the market. Cgates is already a strong number two, but it is still a fragmented market with many growth opportunities.’