The French cable operator Numéricable is about to close a deal with Deficom Telecom and private investor firm Apax to sell the cabler’s Belgian and Luxembourgoise assets for an amount reportedly exceeding €350 million.
Under the agreement, Deficom Telecom will acquire 60% of the cable networks, with 40% going to Apax. Numericable Belgium serves 150,000 customers, mainly in Brussels, Wemmel and Drogenbos, and the Luxembourgoise network counts about 30,000 subscribers, which represent about 25% of the total cable TV market. Telenet was also one of the parties interested in buying Numericable.
Deficom Telecom is a company led by Philippe Lhomme, a Belgian entrepeneur who used to be chairman of Numericable Belgium. Deficom Telecom brings together Lhomme with Altice, a Luxembourg based investor in media and telecommunications, led by Patrick Drahi. Altice is also a minority shareholder in Numericable.
According to local newspaper reports, Lhomme will become president under the new ownership, while general manager Pascal Dormal will stay on in his post.
In a statement the company said: “The transaction demonstrates the attractiveness of a company which in a few years time, thanks to its dynamism and its innovative approach, managed to occupy a leading position in the Grand Duchy and Belgium. The acquisition of Numericable Belgium / Luxembourg by a consortium of local actors, led by Deficom Telecom, opens particularly interesting prospects for the cable operator: the new owners know the Belgian and Luxembourg markets and will certainly ensure continued growth in both markets. ”