German regional cable operator PrimaCom, which was taken over by its creditors last year, has been put up for sale, according to a report by Bloomberg which cites people familiar with the process. The unnamed sources claim that investment bank Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF) has been hired to prepare the search for a buyer, while initial information may be sent to potential bidders of the Leipzig-based cableco next month. Meanwhile, rival cableco TeleColumbus, which is also up for sale, has reportedly attracted interest from Kabel Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom and Liberty Global-owned Unitymedia because of its two million-strong client base and its network with direct access to households. According to one of the sources, some potential buyers, including private equity firms, might consider bidding for both PrimaCom and TeleColumbus (which is also owned by its lenders) in an attempt to combine the assets.
PrimaCom served over one million cable subscribers in small to medium-sized cities in 15 states at the end of 2011, predominantly Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the firm’s lenders agreed to take over the company in a debt-for-equity swap in November 2010. In exchange for writing down PrimaCom’s loans, the creditors – US-based hedge fund Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Avenue Capital Group, ING and London-based Alcentra Group – acquired all of the shares in holding company Medfort Sarl, which bought PrimaCom from former parent PrimaCom AG in July 2010 after the company filed for insolvency.