Astorg tunes into pay-TV

The French firm has bought a majority stake in M7 from Providence

Providence Equity Partners has partially sold down its stake in Dutch pay-TV company M7 to French mid-market firm Astorg Partners, according to a statement.

Astorg purchased a 70 percent stake in the company, however the deal value was not disclosed. 

Providence, which focuses on media, communications and education investments, will continue to be a “significant minority shareholder” of M7.

Providence acquired its stake in M7 in 2007, when it had roughly 750,000 subscribers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Under Providence's ownership, the company entered a number of new markets and completed some add-on acquisitions. For instance, it launched pay-TV stations in Austria and Hungary, acquired a number of satellite TV platforms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and bought the broadband business Euronet/Online in the Netherlands.

“M7 combines all the qualities of a performing asset: excellent track record, professional management, high growth and strong customer franchises,” Joel Lacourte, managing partner at Astorg, said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approval. Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas worked as financial advisors to Providence and Emendo Capital advised Astorg on this transaction.

Astorg's average equity investment ranges from €40 million to €400 million. The firm aims to make 8 to 10 investments in its €1 billion fund, Astorg V, which closed in 2011.

Providence closed its seventh fund on $5 billion in June 2013.