France Télécom confirms TDF sale discussions

Private equity consortium in talks to acquire France Télécom’s mast business.

Télédiffusion de France (TDF), the transmission tower business, is the subject of talks between owners France Télécom and a private equity consortium including CDC Equity Capital and Charterhouse Development Capital which could value TDF at around E2bn.

According to a report in Financial News, France Télécom has confirmed that talks are taking place between the two parties and that the company had asked Merrill Lynch to advise in it on the sale.

France Télécom is said to want to retain a significant stake in TDF, France’s largest transmission business which also has operation in Germany and Spain. The sale of all or part of TDF would enable France Télécom to reduce its debt pile, which is currently estimated at between E50-65bn.

TDF had sales of E730m in 2000, the latest year for which full figures are available, with net profits of around E150m.