UPDATE 1-BC Partners picks banks for listing of cable operator Com Hem

Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:49pm EDT

* Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan to be global coordinators

* IPO could value Com Hem at more than 20 bln SEK (Adds detail, background, valuation detail, deals)

STOCKHOLM/FRANKFURT, March 13 (Reuters) - Private equity firm BC Partners has picked banks to lead a stock market listing of Swedish cable operator Com Hem which could value the firm at more than 20 billion crowns ($3.1 billion), three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A listing of Com Hem would come amid a flurry of M&A activity in the European cable sector and follows several succesful listings of private equity owned firms in Sweden and Denmark in the past several months.

The people, who declined to be identified as the plans are not public, said Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan had been chosen as global coordinators, to lead an IPO before the summer holidays, with Rothschild acting as IPO advisor for BC Partners.

More banks will be signed up as bookrunners, the people added.

BC Partners and Com Hem declined to comment, as did JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Rothschild.

The people said Com Hem could be worth up to around 22 billion Swedish crowns including debt. That would mean a valuation multiple of about 10 times 2013 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), similar to French cable firm Numericable and slightly lower than the 11 times that Liberty Global is paying for Dutch Ziggo

The European cable sector trades on an enterprise value to 2013 EBITDA multiple of 9.4 times, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Since late last year, the Stockholm stock exchange has chalked up three initial public offerings (IPOs) on its main list after a drought since the first half of 2011, all of which have performed significantly better than the broader market.

In Denmark, outsourcing firm ISS closed up 14 percent on its first day of trading on Thursday compared to the price set in the IPO.

Com Hem made EBITDA earnings of 2.2 billion crowns in 2013 on revenues of 4.4 billion and employs around 950 people.

Almost 40 percent of Swedish households are connected to Com Hem's network, and it has more than 600,000 digital TV customers according to its website.

BC Partners bought Com Hem in 2011 from private equity groups Carlyle and Providence for around $2.6 billion. ($1 = 6.3627 Swedish Crowns) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Arno Schuetze, additional reporting by Leila Abboud,; editing by Niklas Pollard and Elaine Hardcastle)