German cable operator Kabel BW has drawn interest from a number of possible bidders ahead of a potential sale by Swedish private group EQT, Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing a person familiar with the situation. The interested parties include US-based Liberty Global Inc (LGI), German cableco Kabel Deutschland (KDG) and private equity firms Apax Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Hellman Friedman. The source said the deal could be worth around EUR3 billion (USD4.09 billion), equal to the market value of comparable listed peers, while local media reports suggest that indicative bids were in the range of EUR2.5 billion to EUR3 billion. Kabel BW managers are set to give business presentations to bidders who have passed the first stage of the process this week, with the next round of bids due by 16 February, the person said.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, EQT hired JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank in November 2010 to advise EQT on an initial public offering (IPO) or sale of Kabel BW. EQT has been the sole shareholder in Heidelberg-based Kabel BW since it bought the cableco from US investment group Blackstone in April 2006 for around EUR1.3 billion. In the past, LGI has expressed an interest in acquiring Kabel BW, which had a cable subscriber base of around 2.3 million at 30 September 2010, including around 624,000 broadband and telephony customers. LGI completed the acquisition of German cableco Unitymedia in January 2010 for a total consideration of around EUR3.5 billion.