PARIS Jan 8 Private equity firm Dering Capital
is in advanced talks to buy French broadcasting masts operator
TDF, and is the last remaining bidder after a
Canadian consortium dropped out, Les Echos reported on
Sources told Reuters in October that Dering, founded in 2011
by Ben Jenkins, ex-Hong Kong head of Blackstone, had
submitted a slightly higher first-round bid of about 3.6 billion
euros ($4.9 billion) than the group led by Canadian pension fund
The owners of TDF were hoping to bring in 4 billion euros
from the sale, the sources said.
"Faced with the inflexibility of TDF shareholders on the
price, PSP dropped out of the process, giving Dering a stronger
hand to force a lowing asking price from the seller," Les Echos
said in the unsourced report.
TDF was not immediately available for comment.
TDF's business is suffering from weakness in its mobile
antennas unit, which counts telecom operators as customers, and
is saddled with 3.8 billion euros of debt.
The sellers are TDF shareholders, including the private
equity funds TPG with 42 percent, Charterhouse Ardian
-previously known as AXA private equity - and France's BPI.
($1 = 0.7349 euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Louise Ireland)