Versatel strip-out for Apax

Swedish alternative telecoms provider Tele2 and Apax Partners have linked up for a €1.34bn offer for Versatel Telecom, the Dutch-based telecom group.

Tele2 plans to sell Versatel’s German business to Apax for about €565m once the offer is completed, the companies said. The German operations accounted for around 47% of Versatel’s consolidated Ebitda in the first quarter of this year.

The Swedish company is offering €2.20 per Versatel outstanding ordinary share and around €132,274 for the firm’s outstanding convertible notes. The combined value of the offer is €1.34bn assuming 100% acceptance. Based on the offer price, Versatel is valued at about €1.13bn on an enterprise value basis.

The level is a 14% premium to the company’s €1.93 closing share price on July 15 and a 47% premium to the €1.50 closing price on April 28, when news first emerged that Versatel was in discussions with Belgacom. Those talks were abandoned last month.

The combination of Tele2’s existing operations in the Benelux market area and Versatel Benelux will have pro forma revenues of approximately €800m and Ebitda of around €112m. The migration of Tele2’s traffic on Versatel’s network and the integration process are expected to produce annual run-rate Ebitda synergies in the area of €50m.

Talpa, an investment vehicle owned by John de Mol, the creator of the “Big Brother” reality show, has a 40% stake in Versatel. Talpa will tender its stake, Versatel said.

Torsten Krumm, a partner at Apax said: “We are delighted to take part in the consolidation of the alternative telecom market in Germany and to have the opportunity to assist Versatel Germany further develop its growth strategy.”

Versatel is a facilities-based competitive communications network operator serving customers through its broadband backbone network, which connects commercial areas in the Benelux region and northwest Germany.