Tele Columbus

The Tele Columbus GmbH is a company engaged in cable television and telecommunications.


The Tele Columbus Group serves nationwide about 2.1 million households. Tele Columbus has except those set of public channels (eg ARD and ZDF), a so-called basic encryption for all digital programs. For encryption, the conditional access system VideoGuard is used since 2008. In addition, Tele Columbus encrypted until further with Conax in Simulcrypt method.


Since 1985, the Tele Columbus, headquartered in Berlin as a holding company for cable service companies in Germany, which provides with different concepts in cities and regions for a television and radio reception, while also cooperating with the housing industry. The companies of the Tele Columbus Group offer analog cable TV, digital TV, Internet access and cable telephony via broadband cable.

In 1994, Tele Columbus was acquired by VEBA, then sold in 1999 by the Deutsche Bank, and finally in 2003 to an investor group. 2005 Unity Media took over (originally Unity Media ) the former Tele Columbus.

Escaline Holding and Orion Cable

A consortium of banks and investment firms ( Aletheia Capital Partners, ABN AMRO Ventures, Kingsbridge Capital Management GP, Quilvest, Alcentra and Société Générale ) founded in 2005 the Orion Cable GmbH as a subsidiary of the Luxembourg Escaline p ar l and acquired for 629 million euros initially 50 percent of the cable operator EWT GmbH by the family Stritzl; a little later, the remaining shares were acquired. 2006 acquires Orion Cable Tele -Columbus Group Unity Media; at the same time a part of the group was sold to the regional operators ish and KabelBW.

Since 2007, Tele Columbus and ewt occur to customers under a single brand design to broaden the product range and change their orientation from technically oriented infrastructure manager for customer-centric telecommunication services.

In September 2007, Orion Cable acquired nearly 91 percent of the shares in primacom, with the desire to integrate the company with the Tele Columbus Group. The integration tests of Orion Cable were stopped in 2009 because the integration achievements were assessed at the time as too low.

The Orion Cable at that time had about 3.2 million customers, as well as 1.7 billion euros of debt. The Tele Columbus Group alone had about 1.0 billion euros in debt.

Failed takeover by cable Germany

In the summer of 2009, the Orion Cable their intention to want the subsidiary Tele Columbus Group sell to itself to avoid the insolvency announced. In December 2009, finally acquired a creditor consortium of hedge funds and banks the company for only 2.5 million euros. 21 May 2012 it was announced that Tele Columbus should be taken over for 618 million euros from the cable Germany AG. The final approval for the acceptance had to be approved by the Federal Cartel Office, however. Beginning in December 2012 gave the Federal Cartel Office issued a press release in which the merger was critically evaluated. A final decision should first be made ​​until January 16, 2013, the Federal Cartel Office extended the deadline, however, until 15 February 2013. Cables, Germany informed after this time that they would waive the takeover. The company assumed that the Bundeskartellamt would prohibit the merger, as cables Germany could not meet the required conditions for economic reasons.