Carlyle, Providence, GMT in E700M Dutch cable deal

The private equity firms have agreed to pay France Telecom E700m for Casema, the Dutch cable operator which FT had bought for E800m in 1997.

( France Telecom has reached an agreement to sell Casema, its Dutch cable business, to private equity firms The Carlyle Group, Providence Equity Partners and London-based GMT Communications for €700m.


The terms of the deal were not disclosed, according to Dow Jones. Banks including Credit Lyonnais, Société Générale and BNP Paribas are providing the debt financing for the sale.


Casema is the Netherlands’ third largest cable television business. The business, which has approximately 5.5m subscribers, was acquired by France Telecom in December 1997 for approximately €794m. Prior to that, Casema was owned by KPN.


The deal comes approximately two weeks after Liberty Media Corp.’s proposed buyout of the business was scotched due to regulatory concerns. France Telecom, struggling under a €70bn debt load, has been looking to sell non-core assets to raise capital. Last month, France Telecom sold its stake in Greek mobile telecommunication company Vodafone-Panafon to Vodafone International for €311m. 


This is not the first transaction Carlyle and Providence Equity have teamed up on. In November 2000, the firms led a $200m second round of financing in DigiPlex, a Zurich, Switzerland-based provider of facilities to internet companies.