The Netherlands’ largest cable operator Zesko Holding (Ziggo) has reportedly hired four banks – Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Deutsche Bank and UBS – to handle its initial public offering (IPO), Dow Jones Newswires writes citing people familiar with the situation. Ziggo’s owners, private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Cinven, may seek to raise EUR1.5 billion (USD2.1 billion) through the IPO, unconfirmed reports say. According to people close to the deal who wished to remain anonymous because the talks are confidential, the cableco’s parents could sell off between 25% and 50% of the firm, which has an estimated equity value of EUR3 billion and a value of EUR7 billion including debt.
A sale of Ziggo to another group is also an option. As reported in Monday’s CommsUpdate, US-based Liberty Global is considering a pre-emptive bid to acquire the cable operator, even as the latter’s owners prepare for its flotation. Liberty Global’s chief strategy officer Shane O’Neill is quoted as saying: ‘We have a track record of not being put off by the prospects of an IPO. It never bothers us. These guys are motivated by money and if you show up with a more attractive bid, they will go for you.’