Belgian cable operator VOO will be put up for sale again in May, parent company Nethys has informed Le Soir. The Wallonian utility firm has confirmed that investment bank Rothschild will contact potential buyers in mid-May, with a shortlist of candidates to be established by 21 July. Extensive negotiations will then begin with potential purchasers with a view to completing the sale by late 2021. Prospective buyers will be invited to bid for a majority stake in the operator of either 50% plus one share or 75% minus one share, which will enable Nethys to retain a blocking minority holding.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the municipal shareholders of Nethys’ parent company Enodia recently approved the acquisition of 100% of the shares of partner BruTele, the Brussels-based cable operator with which it markets services under the common VOO brand. Nethys previously agreed a controversial deal to sell VOO to private equity group Providence in May 2019, although the sale was suspended later that year following press reports that VOO’s management may have had a conflict of interest, while BruTele’s management also claimed it had not been fully informed of the agreement. A Belgian court subsequently suspended a second deal struck between the two companies in December 2019, ruling it to be fraudulent and not in the public interest.