AXA and Texas Pacific clinch 60% stake in TDF

AXA Private Equity and Texas Pacific Group have paid a reported €3.3bn to buy in to French broadcaster TDF, with previous majority owners Charterhouse Capital Partners and Caisse des Dépôts rolling over their proceeds and reinvesting in the business.

AXA Private Equity, the private equity arm of French insurance group AXA, and US private equity firm Texas Pacific Group have acquired a 60 percent stake in TDF, a French television and multimedia business.
 
TDF said in a statement that the deal will provide funds for the company’s organic growth amounting to €1 billion over five year and up to €1 billion to finance mergers or acquisitions.
 
The deal gives Texas Pacific Group a 42 percent stake in TDF, with AXA Private Equity acquiring an 18 percent share.
 
According to The Wall Street Journal, Texas Pacific Group and AXA Private Equity paid approximately €3.3 billion ($4.14 billion) for the combined 60 percent stake. The report said that Macqarie Bank and French private equity firm PAI Partners had previously shown an interest in TDF.
 
Prior to the current transaction, Charterhouse Capital Partners owned 69 percent of TDF, Caisse des Dépôts 30 percent with the balance held by management.
 
Caisse des Dépôts and Charterhouse Capital Partners reduced their stakes after rolling over sale proceeds and reinvested to acquired 24 percent and 14 percent of the company respectively.
 
The two firms acquired respective 45 percent and 19 percent stakes in TDF from France Telecom’s sale of part of the business in a €1.6 billion transaction in 2002. They then acquired a further 36 percent from France Telecom in a €390 million deal in 2004, with management holding a one percent share.
 
TDF, which reported turnoever in 2005 of €954 million according to its website, has operations in France, Spain, Finland, Monaco, Poland and Estonia.
 
AXA Private Equity was not immediately available for comment. Charterhouse declined to comment.