BC Partners and CVC Capital Partners have made a joint E5.5bn bid for Kabel Deutschland.
The Carlyle Group, Advent International and Bain Capital are each also thought to have submitted separate bids for KDG which is owned by Providence Equity Partners, reports FT.
Bankers say they are prepared to provide between E3.5 billion and E4bn of debt to finance a takeover of the cable operator, which would generate big profits for Providence and Tony Ball, the former BSkyB chief, who chairs the German group.
Providence has been preparing a E1 billion IPO and this was said to be still the priority.
KDG services to more than 9 million homes, and is expected to increase its EBITDA from E570 million to about E650 million in the year to March 2010.