Carlyle Buys Stake in French Cable Operator

Private equity giant The Carlyle Group has agreed to pay $1.5 billion (1 billion euros) for a 35% stake in French cable operator Numericable and corporate telecommunications service provider Completel.

Numericable, formed from the merger of nearly all of the cable operators in France in 2005, is the largest cable operator in that country with about 4.5 million television, Internet and telephony subscribers. Numericable, according to reports, controls about 99% of the French cable market.

The equity-only deal is for half of United Kingdom-based investment firm Cinven Group’s 70% interest in Numericable and Completel. As part of the agreement, Carlyle and Cinven will each own 35% of Numericable and Completel, with French investment fund Altice holding the remaining 30% interest.

Denver-based cable and telecommunications investment banker RBC Daniels and Goldman Sachs are advising Carlyle in the transaction.

The deal comes a day after Altice B2B France – owned by Altice and Cinven – completed its acquisition of Completel for $1.1 billion. RBC Daniels initiated that transaction and acted as financial adviser to the Completel shareholders.