European private equity firm Cinven has completed the acquisition of French cable operator Altice One following advice from the company’s work council. Altice One was founded in 2002 with funds from SG Capital Europe, Pechel Industrie and a group of private investors. Cinven will now have a 70% stake in the business, with the founding stakeholders holding the remaining 30%.
The company offers digital and analogue television, broadband telephone and internet through subsidiaries Est Videocom in Alsace and Coditel in Belgium and Luxembourg.
With approximately 160,000 customers, Est Videocom is Alsace’s leading regional operator of cable television, covering more than 170 towns. It was one of the first French operators to deliver internet through cable and achieved a turnover last year of more than €41.3m. Coditel is the leading cable operator in Brussels and Luxembourg. It has 180,000 customers and turnover last year was €34.1m.
Pascal Heberling, a Cinven partner, said the investment would complement the firm’s existing holding in Numericable, which was completed less than a year ago. “Together, the two companies represent 4.75m connections and almost 2.5m revenue generating units, making this the largest Francophone cable network in Europe,” he said.
Nicolas Paulmier, another Cinven partner, said that Cinven’s strategic and financial support would allow Altice One to develop services for its individual and corporate client base. Bank funding for the transaction was led by Calyon, ING and Lehman Brothers. Cinven was advised by BNP Paribas.
Cinven has led transactions with a value in excess of €1.1bn. Its current fund closed at €4.4bn in April 2002. Other recent investments include Amadeus, World Directories and Fitness First.