Carlyle Group, Cinven and Altice, the co-owners of French cableco Numericable and alternative fixed line operator Completel, are reportedly planning to fully merge the two sister companies ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO) of the combined business. According to Reuters, BNP, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are reportedly in charge of the merger process. In April 2013 reports emerged suggesting that an IPO could raise as much as EUR5 billion (USD6.7 billion).
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Numericable was acquired by Altice and Cinven in a leveraged buyout in 2006, and the private equity firms went on to buy Completel, a business-to-business infrastructure-based telecoms company, in 2007. In March 2008 Carlyle Group invested EUR1.1 billion in the company by purchasing a 37.8% stake from the two existing owners. The deal left Cinven holding a 35% stake in the cableco, while Altice controls the remaining shares.
As recently as April 2013 the co-owners were said to be in discussion with Vivendi regarding a possible multibillion euro merger between Numericable and Vivendi’s SFR telecoms unit, although talks promptly stalled.