CVC Capital Partners is close to securing Kabel Baden-Württemberg, the German cable company put up for sale by its existing private equity owners, EQT.
The Wall Street Journal reported that an IPO still remained a possibility, but that a private sale had emerged as the most likely option. The bid of up to €2.95 billion will become Europe’s biggest leveraged buyout so far this year.
Liberty Global, which already owns North-Rhine Westphalia-centred Unitymedia, and Hellman & Friedman are also said by the paper to have placed bids in the final round. Both are thought to be below the €2.7 billion level.
Plans for an IPO were only officially released on March 11. The transaction is being handled by Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan with BofA Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland.
EQT was acquired for €1.3 billion in 2006 from Blackstone.