Report: KKR, Carlyle eye $3bn in Verizon assets

The mega-firms are reportedly among potential buyers for $3bn-worth of assets including 2.1 million wireless subscribers in 22 US states. Last month, TPG and Goldman Sachs completed their sale Alltel to Verizon, booking $1.3bn in profit.

The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are bidding to purchase $3 billion worth of assets that are due to be divested by Verizon Wireless following its purchase of wireless carrier Alltel in January, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Providence Equity Partners is not part of the bidding, contrary to what the WSJ reported in the article, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Carlyle and KKR – which are reportedly making a joint bid for the wireless carrier – both declined to comment on the story.

The competition comes after TPG and GS Capital Partners officially closed the largest-ever private equity exit last month when Verizon agreed to pay about $5.9 billion of equity for Alltel and assume about $22 billion of Alltel’s debt. The two private equity firms, which purchased Alltel for $27.5 billion in 2007, will make a $1.3 billion profit from the exit.

Verizon is selling the assets – which include 2.1 million wireless subscribers in 22 states – in order to get government approval of the deal. The WSJ also said an unnamed cable provider has also expressed interest, while AT&T is seen as the leading bidder due to its strong financial position.