Carlyle, Cinven and Altice have contacted banks to get advice on the possible timing, valuation and structure of an initial public offering (IPO) of jointly owned French cable company Numericable. Proposals for the stock exchange listing are to be submitted in May 2013, and according to Reuters, the cableco’s valuation is expected to be approximately EUR4 billion (USD5.3 billion).
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms, in March 2008 Carlyle Group invested EUR1.1 billion (USD1.7 billion) in Numericable by purchasing a 37.8% stake from Altice and Cinven, which left Cinven with 35% of Numericable while Altice controlled 27%. The private equity owners were initially in discussion with Vivendi about a multibillion merger of the cable company with Vivendi’s SFR telecoms business, although as stated in an unconfirmed article on the French TV BFM website, talks between the involved parties have stalled. The IPO move is believed to be a way for the private equity companies to send a message to Vivendi that they have alternatives to a merger.