Zone Vision gets $12m funding

Advent International has led the $12 million investment in Zone Vision, a rapidly expanding thematic channel broadcaster and distributor of international cable and satellite channels. For this Advent gets a 12 per cent stake in the company. The investment, which is Zone Vision’s first round of funding and values the company at $100 million, will be used to launch new channels and to roll out existing products to new markets. There are no further investors in the round, although it will be syndicated.

Zone Vision was established in 1991, operating in Central and Eastern Europe and has over the last three years embarked on an aggressive expansion programme that has made it one of the leading independent producers and distributors of thematic channels in Europe. The company is now headquartered in London and has eight channels broadcasting to over 25 million subscribers through customers such as United Pan Communications, Multichoice, Digiturk and Arab Digital Distribution.

George Swirski said: “Here is a company that, by building excellent local teams and good relationships with CATV and DTH operators across Europe, has developed from its Central European focus into a pan-European broadcasting business, with operations beyond Europe as well.”

Since its inception, Zone Vision has concentrated on building strong trading relationships with leading thematic channel and content providers such as Discovery, MTV, Turner, ESPN and Hallmark through long term programme syndication and channel representation activities. These relationships have recently been strengthened through the launch of joint venture channels with showtime Networks Inc, United Pan Communications and E! Entertainment.

Advent International in a well-seasoned player in the broadcasting sector. Investments include: @Entertainment, a Polish pay TV business that had an IPO on Nasdaq in 1997 and was acquired by UPC in 1999; Primacom, a German cable business that had a joint IPO on Nasdaq and the Neuer Markt in 1999; and Scandinavian Broadcasting Systems, which IPO’d on Nasdaq.