* Float would be biggest since 1997
* No decision made yet on whether to proceed with float - source
* CVC declines to comment (Adds detail)
MELBOURNE, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Private equity firm CVC has appointed Credit Suisse , Goldman Sachs and UBS to advise on the possible initial public offering of television network Nine Entertainment, a source said on Tuesday, in a deal that could be worth $5 billion.
“That is likely to be the team,” a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
If a float proceeds, it could be the biggest in Australia since the nearly A$10 billion IPO of Telstra Corp in 1997 and would exceed last year’s $4 billion float of rail-freight firm QR National .
No final decision has been made on whether to float Nine, which owns the Nine Network, Australia’s largest magazine publisher ACP, and a 50 percent stake in website carsales.com, the source added.
“They are doing the hard yards so if and when they do decide to go, then the work has been done. It doesn’t mean a date has been set,” the person added.
CVC and UBS declined to comment. Credit Suisse did not return a call for comment, while Goldman Sachs could not immediately be reached.
Last month, executives from Nine Entertainment met with Australian fund managers to talk up the group’s earnings prospects, a move seen by investors as the first step towards an initial public offering.
The climate for IPOs has improved recently following the successful float of QR National , which rose more than 10 percent above its Nov. 22 listing price and is currently 4.7 percent higher.
A float of Nine, which local media has reported could come as early as April, would be the biggest private-equity float since TPG sold out of retailer Myer in late 2009. (Editing by Sonali Paul and Balazs Koranyi)
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