Luxembourg-based private equity fund Altice Group has confirmed its intention to acquire Outremer Telecom, a long-established company with operations in Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion and Mayotte, from its current owner, fellow PE firm AXA Private Equity. In order to complete the transaction Altice VII and Altice Caribbean have formed a newly incorporated entity, NewCo OMT. Upon completion of the Outremer transaction, Altice VII will – through its wholly-owned subsidiary Altice Caribbean – own approximately 77% of the equity interests in NewCo OMT, with the remaining shares to be retained by the company’s current management. The completion of the deal is expected by 15 July 2013.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in June 2011 AXA signed an agreement with Apax Partners and Jean-Michel Hegesippe, the CEO and founder of Outremer Telecom, to acquire their combined 52.26% stake in the Outremer Telecom Group, at a price of EUR12 (USD15.6) per share. A simplified takeover bid for the remaining Outremer shares, initiated in October 2011, saw AXA raise its total stake to 93.49%.
In an accompanying document for the attention of senior note holders, Altice explains that it intends to merge Outremer Telecom with its existing Le Cable (Numericable) operations in Guadeloupe and Martinique following the deal’s conclusion. Formed in 1993 under the auspices of World Satellite Guadeloupe (WSG), the operator now known as Le Cable launched cable TV services in 1994/95, before unveiling its cable broadband service in 2005. On 24 December 2008 the company was bought out by Altice’s Altice Blue One holding company. Le Cable claimed 13,000 wireline and broadband subscribers across the two territories at 31 March 2013. At the same date Outremer had a consolidated 379,000 wireless subscribers across its five markets, alongside 82,000 wireline customers and 57,000 broadband users.