Numericable Group

Cable operator
Transaction value
€3,100 million
Mar/Nov 2005, Sep 2007
Mar 2016
Numericable Group

The Numericable Group (formerly Numericable/Completel) consists of Numericable, the French cable operator, and Completel, the B2B infrastructure-based telecommunications operator.

Numericable is the result of a consolidation, initiated by Cinven and Altice, of several French cable operators:

  • Numericable, acquired in March 2005
  • Altice One, acquired in November 2005
  • Noos-UPC, acquired in July 2006

Numericable covers close to 10 million households and all of the largest French urban areas. It offers a full range of analogue and digital pay TV, internet broadband and telephony services.

Completel was acquired in September 2007 as a stand-alone investment. It is the third largest business to business infrastructure-based telecommunications operator in France. It has both a national backbone and a DSL network with 700+ exchanges covering 110 cities in France. It serves nationally both the B2B retail market as well as the B2B wholesale market through both fiber and DSL connections.

The strategy has been successfully implemented with the integration of the acquired businesses and the cross-selling of broadband and telephony products both leading to significant revenues and savings benefit.

In December 2007, the Carlyle Group signed an agreement to become a shareholder in Numericable/Completel, allowing Cinven to return further funds to its investors. In December 2010, Completel acquired Altitude Telecom, a small B2B operator with high network and operational synergies. Numericable sold Coditel, its operations in Belgium and Luxembourg in June 2011.

The Numericable Group announced its successful IPO on the NYSE Euronext Paris on 7 November 2013. The third Cinven fund reduced its shareholding from 37.5% to 18.3%. Cinven subsequently entered into an agreement to sell a further 5% shareholding in Numericable to Altice on 17 November 2013. 

In April 2014, the Numericable Group announced the acquisition of SFR, the second largest mobile operator in France. The SFR-Numericable group will create a French champion in high-speed broadband and in convergence of fixed and mobile networks. On 7 April 2014, Cinven entered into a new agreement with Altice to sell for cash another 6.5% shareholding in the Numericable Group and to roll over the remaining 6.8% into Altice.

Cinven subsequently realised its remaining position in Altice in March 2016, generating total proceeds of €2.15 billion and a total capital gain of €1.7 billion for the third Cinven fund and a total money multiple of 4.7x.