By Sophie Sassard
LONDON, June 12 The private equity owners of
Numericable have hired Rothschild to work on a Paris stock
market debut this year that could value the French cable
operator at up to 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion), four sources
with knowledge of the plan said.
The funds - Cinven, Carlyle and Altice Group - have
yet to appoint bookrunners for the listing and are expected to
pick three additional banks in the coming weeks, the sources
Numericable could be worth up to 5 billion euros based on a
multiple of around 8 times its 2012 core earnings of 456 million
euros plus 181 million euros for Completel, the
business-to-business infrastructure-based telecommunications
unit it acquired in 2007, two of the sources said.
The share sale would provide an exit for Numericable's
private equity owner Cinven, while another fund, Carlyle, and
Altice's owner, cable entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, might decide
to keep their stakes, the people said.
The plan to float Numericable came after talks to merge with
Vivendi's mobile unit, SFR, failed earlier this year.
The funds are now hoping to benefit from investors' appetite for
cable assets in Europe, as illustrated by Vodafone's bid
approach to Kabel Deutschland.
Dutch cable group Ziggo drew strong demand for
its listing last year and Europe's biggest cable operator,
Liberty Global, in February agreed a deal to buy
Britain's Virgin Media for $15.8 billion.
Numericable, Cinven, Carlyle declined to comment while
Altice and Rothschild were not immediately available for