From Sotires Eleftheriou in Paris
According to reports in the French press, the British investment fund Cinven wants to sell up to half of its 70 per cent stake in Ypso, the holding company that owns the cable operator Numericable, for almost E2 billion.
Several investment funds have expressed an interest in acquiring this 35 per cent stake and Cinven has given the merchant banks Rothschild and Morgan Stanley the task of handling the sale. According to Les Echos, Providence, Carlyle, PAI, TPG, Blackstone, KKR and Permira are among the funds interested. Altice, chaired by Patrick Drahi, owns the remaining 30 per cent. Completel, which was acquired this summer by Altice B2B France is also part of the deal. Cinven and Altice want to form ties with another operator (Neuf-Cegetel, Free or Bouygues) in order to take advantage of potential synergy in the broadband area. If the sale results in a change of control, Numericable's creditors could call in debt of E3 billion.