Swedish private equity firm EQT is set to decide today whether to opt for a sale of German cableco Kabel BW, or instead proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) of the company, Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing several people familiar with the situation. According to the sources, the bidders left in the ongoing auction for Kabel BW – US cable operator Liberty Global Inc., and private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman – were due to submit final bids yesterday, with offers expected to be above EUR2.7 billion (USD3.8 billion). However, it is unlikely that bids will be higher than EUR3 billion, one person added.
As reported by CommsUpdate, Kabel BW last week unveiled plans to float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the first half of 2011, although EQT is still sounding out a potential sale of the cableco. EQT has reportedly hired JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank as joint global coordinators for the listing, while BofA Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland will act as joint bookrunners. 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.