Paris, 21 December 2007 - The Carlyle Group, Cinven and Altice today announced that global private equity firm The Carlyle Group will become a new shareholder in Numericable and Completel. The Carlyle Group and Cinven will each own 35% of the two companies and Altice 30%. Financial details were not disclosed.
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 unique fiber network already passes 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 fibre access network and the third largest DSL network in France.
Patrick Drahi, Altice said, "Since 2002, thanks to the support of its initial shareholders Pechel, SGCE and ING, to the further outstanding support of Cinven and its team and to the expertise and endless dedication of its employees, the Numericable group has been able to build a service platform at the forefront of international standards of cable technology. The promising results we have achieved altogether have allowed us to welcome at our sides one of the most prestigious investment funds in our sector, which will give our group a new impulse to position ourselves as one of the major players in the consolidation of the European cable industry."
Benoît Colas, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group said, "We are very excited to become a new shareholder in Numericable and Completel alongside Altice and Cinven. Numericable and Completel have tremendous growth opportunities on both residential and corporate markets thanks to the unique services their fiber networks can offer. Carlyle’s deep telecom industry expertise and financial strength will be great resources for the future development of the leading very high speed network in France."
Nicolas Paulmier, Cinven said, "Cinven has backed Altice since 2004 during which time the French cable sector has rapidly consolidated, and evolved. We are very pleased to welcome Carlyle at this new juncture in the development of French telecommunications as the market shifts from high broadband to very high broadband, ahead of all other European countries. With an even stronger shareholding basis, Numericable is well positioned for further consolidation in the French and European telecoms sector."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q1, 2008.