Charterhouse acquires remaining TDF stake

France Telecom has agreed to sell its remaining 36 percent stake in French broadcaster TDF for approximately €390m.

Existing shareholders, Charterhouse Capital Partners and Caisse des Dépôts have agreed to acquire France Telecom’s 36 percent stake in French television and multimedia company TDF for more than €390 million ($504 million).

The stake was sold to funds managed by London-headquartered Charterhouse Capital Partners, CDC Enterprises Equity Capital and French financial group Caisse des Dépôts.

Charterhouse and Caisse des Dépôts acquired their respective 45 and 19 percent stakes in TDF in France Telecom’s 2002 sale of part of the business for €1.6 billion, which also saw Hutton Collins’ debut mezzanine investment – a €300 million tranche co-arranged with Royal Bank of Scotland.

Following completion of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, Charterhouse Capital Partners and CDC Enterprises Capital will own 69 percent of TDF, Caisse des Dépôts will hold a 30 percent stake and the remaining one percent will be held by management.

The final price, which may be adjusted upon completion of the transaction, will not exceed €400 million, according to a statement from France Telecom. Charterhouse was unavailable for comment.

Last month, Charterhouse completed the £1.35 billion acquisition of over-50s UK leisure and insurance group Saga in a hotly contested auction process and earlier this year won another significant auction to acquire UK catering products company Autobar for €800 million.

Charterhouse is currently investing from Charterhouse Capital Partners VII, a €2.7 billion fund closed in July 2003. The firm aims to differentiate itself by investing its funds across fewer deals, each requiring a larger portion of a fund’s equity capital than the firm’s competitors would typically allocate to a single investment.