JP Morgan mandated for Invitel sale

A private equity consortium comprising GMT Communications Partners and Mid Europa Partners has mandated JP Morgan to sell Hungarian fixed-line telco Invitel. The consortia acquired the company from Vivendi Telecom International in May 2003 and refinanced it in August 2004 with one of the region’s first high-yield-bond offerings.

Thierry Baudon, managing director of Mid Europa Partners, told IFR Buyouts that there had been a broad array of interest: “Once you reach a certain size threshold, deals are intermediated out of London and we are seeing interest from both trade players and international private equity houses.”

One of the interesting features of the auction will be to watch how TDC-owned Hungarotel reacts. Hungarotel is the third largest player in the Hungarian fixed-line business and would be expected to bid in order to create a serious challenger to the previous incumbent Matav.

However, the parent company was itself the subject of Europe’s largest buyout just two months ago and it will be instructive to see whether the consortium will be able to organise itself to mount a serious challenge.