Several private equity houses placed first-round bids for Swedish triple-play cable operator Com Hem by the deadline at the end of last week, reports Dow Jones Newswires, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the deal. Amongst the potential buyers are Blackstone Group, Nordic Capital, Hellman & Friedman and BC Partners, the sources added. According to the report, Com Hem’s management will meet with the bidders over the next few weeks, but a date for second-round bidding has not been announced. Last month the cellco – currently owned by US private equity firms Carlyle Group and Providence – hired Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to run the auction, and non-disclosure agreements were sent to interested parties, reportedly including the aforementioned quartet of buyout groups. Com Hem is expected to fetch at least USD2 billion and up to USD2.8 billion in an auction, but the company has not yet dismissed the alternative of holding an initial public offering (IPO).
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