Dow Jones Newswires reports that for-sale Swedish cableco Com Hem has hired Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to run an auction process, quoting a person familiar with the situation. Non-disclosure agreements have been sent out to several interested private equity firms, with likely bidders including Blackstone Group, Nordic Capital, Hellman & Friedman and BC Partners.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in 2003 Com Hem was sold by TeliaSonera to Swedish risk capital group EQT, which, in December 2005, agreed to sell it to the US private equity houses Carlyle Group and Providence Equity. The deal, worth around USD1.2 billion, was completed in May 2006. The following month Com Hem was merged with UPC Sweden after Carlyle and Providence bought the rival cableco from Liberty Global for USD435 million. Com Hem was put up for sale again in December 2010, and is expected to fetch at least USD2 billion and up to USD2.8 billion. TeliaSonera is said to have made enquiries to the European Commission as to whether it would be permitted to repurchase Com Hem (having previously offloaded it under pressure from anti-monopoly concerns).