Advent sells Zone Vision share

Advent International has sold its stake in Zone Vision, a UK-headquartered channel operator and distributor, to UnitedGlobalCom Inc.’s chellomedia subsidiary in a US$80m (€62m) transaction.

The divestment has generated a two times multiple for Advent’s Central & Eastern Europe II (ACEE II) and related funds. Additional future performance-related payments from the other selling Zone Vision shareholders are expected to raise Advent International’s overall return to just under 3x its original investment. Chellomedia now owns 87.5% of the company.

Advent invested US$8.3m in Zone Vision in May 2001, ten years after it was founded in central Europe by its president and chairman, Chris Wronski. It later moved its HQ to London.

Since the investment by Advent, the company has developed three proprietary global broadcast brands and one regional brand and expanded its business to representing over 30 international channels. The company broadcasts to over 135 million subscribers in 125 countries. Revenues for 2004 are expected to be US$44m with consolidated EBITDA of US$8.9m.

Zone Vision is the fifth exit in the past two months for Advent International’s Central Europe team. Holdings in MobiFon, Romania’s leading mobile service provider, and Oskar Mobil, the Czech Republic’s leading mobile brand, have both been bought by TIW; Slag Recycling, a Polish steel waste recycling business, has been sold successfully to St. Paul’s Environmental Regeneration Ltd, and Euromedia, Romania’s largest outdoor advertising group, has been sold profitably to Plasty Prod, a Romanian media business.