Carlyle breaks French record

The Carlyle Group has acquired a 37.8% stake in French telecom companies Numericable and Completel, from existing shareholders Altice and Cinven.

The €1.1bn equity investment has given the companies an aggregate enterprise value of €6.5bn. The equity investment is the largest ever made by a single private equity firm in France.

Numericable operates the leading alternative high speed network in France, covering close to 10 million households and providing high definition television, video on demand, very high speed internet and telephony services. Numericable is the first operator to have massively deployed its own fiber network in France. This fiber network already passes over 2 million households and will be extended to 8 million households by 2010. Completel offers differentiated services to corporate customers using the largest alternative metropolitan fiber access network and the third largest DSL network in France.

Benoît Colas, managing director at Carlyle, said: “Carlyle’s financial strength and depth of experience, gained from numerous investments including Casema, Com Hem, UPC Sweden and Bredbandsbolaget in Europe will enable us to be strong partner to management and existing shareholders Altice and Cinven in progressing the companies’ development.”