KDG invites submission of indicative bids

3 Feb 2010

The owners of German cable provider Kabel Deutschland (KDG) have asked for indicative bids for the company by 8 February, Reuters reports citing people familiar with the matter. ‘They want to get a feeling for the offers and root out any offers deemed too low,’ company sources commented. KDG, which is 88% owned by Providence Equity, with the remainder held by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (8%), and company management (4%), is also sounding out options for an initial public offering (IPO). Private equity firms CVC, Advent, Carlyle and BC Partners are reportedly likely to submit bids, while Apax Partners, which owned KDG from 2003 to 2005, was thought to be still wavering. BC and Apollo sold German cableco Unitymedia in November 2009 to US-based cable company Liberty Global Inc for EUR3.65 billion (USD5.09 billion). Earlier that month Unitymedia had revealed it was planning an IPO for December. Staple financing is already thought to be in place with four banks – Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, UBS and JP Morgan – hired for the IPO. As reported by CommsUpdate in November 2009, KDG first hinted at a possible listing late last year, with the company’s finance chief Paul Thomason stating: ‘It is no secret. We are rumoured to be looking at a potential IPO in 2010. I do not know whether that will or will not happen.’ Last month the cableco revealed plans to raise at least EUR1 billion in an IPO, to be launched as early as the second quarter of this year.

Germany, Kabel Deutschland