German cablenet Kabel BW has unveiled plans to float on the German stockmarket in the first half of 2011. The company said it would release further details in the next few weeks. The transaction is being handled by Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan with BofA Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Reuters is reporting that owners EQT might still look to a private sale, rather than pursue the IPO, with a final decision being made in the next week. In February it was reported that EQT was looking for a price of up to €3 billion for the network which it acquired for €1.3 billion in 2006 from Blackstone. However, EQT Germany boss Marcus Brennecke insisted the Swedish financiers had no price in mind.
EQT has a number of other media interests, including the Romanian operator Blizoo, the former CableTel and Eurocom.
Unitymedia and Kabel Deutschland will no doubt be linked with a potential purchase as the private equity companies behind many of Europe’s cable companies slowly begin to realise their investments.
Kabel Deutschland, which represents the rump of the former Deutsche Telekom network, staged an IPO in March 2010. Earlier this month Luxembourg based Cable Holding, the largest shareholder in KDG and controlled by Providence Equity Partners, successfully placed 20 million shares – equivalent to half its interest in the cabler – through Goldman Sachs International to institutional investors.