French fibre network operator Covage, a 50/50 joint venture between Luxembourg-based equity fund Cube Infrastructure and Axia NetMedia Corporation of Canada, is reportedly up for sale. TMT Finance reports that the owners of the business are seeking between EUR150 million and EUR200 million (USD200 million and USD267 million) for the broadband provider. Unnamed sources have suggested the company is likely to pique the interest of international private equity firms looking to enter the French infrastructure sector.
TeleGeography notes that Covage was created in 2006 following the merger of VINCI Networks with AXIA NetMedia Corporation; the firm designs, builds and operates open access telecoms networks. At the start of May 2014, Covage was operational via 23 public initiative networks (PINs, locally known as Reseaux d’Initiative Publique) via 18 public service delegation (PSD) concessions and five public private partnership (PPP) service contracts, along its own national transmission network, which comprises of over 9,400km of fibre-optic cabling, with 24 points of presence nationwide. Covage reported consolidated revenues of EUR42 million in the year ended 31 December 2013, up from EUR36 million in 2012. The company’s EBITDA reached EUR12.3 million in the period under review, up from EUR8.0 million in 2012.