Private equity companies are said to have posted bids that value Kabel Deutschland at €5 billion, while Germany’s largest cable operator continues to make preparations for an IPO, which could still take place before Easter.
Advent, Bain Capital, BC Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Carlyle have all been named locally as potential suitors with bids being submitted yesterday. The UK telecoms company Vodafone, which already has a 3.7 million-subscriber DSL business, has also been linked with a bid but has denied an interest.
It is thought that BC Partners will bid without Apollo, its former partner in Unitymedia, sold to Liberty Global before Christmas for €3.65 million. Liberty could itself enter the fray, competition issues not withstanding, following comments in Het Financieele Dagblad by Mike Fries that the UPC owner had a $3 billion warchest to invest, potentially in the Dutch and German markets. Liberty had earlier been linked with Kabel BW.
Kabel Deutschland is currently 88% owned by Providence Equity Partners.