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EMP Europe announces exit from Aster

10 November 2004

The leading Central Europe-focused private equity house, Emerging Markets Partnership (Europe) Limited ("EMP Europe") announced that AIG Emerging Europe Infrastructure Fund, the fund it advises, has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its 39 percent stake in Aster City Cable Holding (Luxembourg) S.A., the leading Polish cable TV and broadband internet operator. The stake is to be acquired by funds managed by Hicks Muse, its current partner in the investment.

The $550 million AIG Emerging Europe Infrastructure Fund acquired its stake in Aster in March 2003 when EMP Europe teamed up with Hicks Muse and Argus Capital to acquire Aster from Elektrim Telekomunikacja in a transaction valued at €110 million.

Commenting on the transaction which will generate approximately a 3 times return on the initial investment, Thierry Baudon, the CEO of EMP Europe said: "We are pleased to have had a chance to contribute to the marked transformation of Aster. Since our March 2003 investment, Aster has spent nearly $20 million to add approximately 200,000 internet-ready homes passed and to launch digital programming. Aster now has over 55,000 high-speed data subscribers on its network."

Aster City Cable (Holding) Luxembourg S.A. is one of the largest Polish cable TV and broadband operators serving over 350,000 subscribers located in Warsaw, Krakow and Zielona Gora. Aster provides analogue and premium digital cable TV services as well as broadband internet and telephony.

With offices in London, Budapest and Warsaw, EMP Europe has made 10 large investments in nine different Central and Eastern European countries committing a total of $475 million on behalf of the $550 million AIG Emerging Europe Infrastructure Fund it advises.


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