Cinven’s Altice to acquire cable rival

The French cable operator acquired by London-based investor Cinven last year is set to purchase UPC France from Liberty Global for approximately €1.2bn.

London-based private equity firm Cinven has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the French cable business of Liberty Global through portfolio company Altice.
If the transaction is completed, Liberty Global will sell UPC France for approximately €1.2 billion ($1.44 billion). According to Liberty Global, the sale represents a multiple of around 11.4x UPC France’s 2005 operating cash flow.
Cinven acquired a 70 percent stake in French cable operator Altice for approximately €500 million last November. The two firms had partnered previously in March 2005 to acquire Numéricable, formed from the cable operations of France Télécom and Vivendi Universal, for €528 million.
Cinven was not immediately available for comment.
Altice provides digital and analogue television, broadband telephone and internet services to 340,000 customers through its subsidiaries Est Videocom in Alsace and Coditel in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In January, Liberty Global sold its Norwegian cable business UPC Norway to private equity firm Candover for €448 million. According to media reports, the company is also considering the sale of its Swedish cable arm.
UPC France serves around 4.6 million homes, and currently has over 1.5 million basic cable subscribers, 247,000 internet subscribers and 66,600 telephony subscribers. The company’s operations are based in Paris, Strasbourg, Orleans, Le Mans and the suburbs of Lyon.