Global investment firm The Carlyle Group has completed its acquisition of a 37.8 percent stake in telecommunications companies Numericable and Completel for €1.1 billion ($1.7 billlion) from European buyout firm Cinven and its portfolio company Altice, according to a statement. When the deal was signed in December terms were undisclosed.
The deal gives the two companies an aggregate enterprise value of €6.5 billion. Carlyle said the equity investment is the largest by a private equity firm in France.
Cinven and Altice will retain a stake in the companies. Numericable provides nearly 10 million households with high speed cable access providing television, video on demand, high speed internet and telephony services.
Numericable has a fibre network which provides fast cable access to 2 million households and this will be extended to 8 million households by 2010. Completel provides internet and telephone connections to corporate customers.
Cinven bought Numericable in March 2005 for €528 million. This was the combined value of a merger between two cable operators – FT Câble, bought from France Télécom, and NC Numéricable, acquired from television company Canal+ and media company Vivendi – as well as the cable networks of France Télécom and the acquisition of cable company TDF.
Cinven subsequently pursued a buy and build strategy of cable companies acquiring Altice One, the company it is retaining, in November 2005 for €525 million and Noos-UPC in July 2006 for €1.25 billion.