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Numericable Gets Permission to Buy Completel Before Share Sale

Numericable SAS got permission from lenders to merge with Completel SAS as its private-equity owners consider a sale of shares in the combined company.

The French cable operator announced it had lender backing for the request in a statement on its website. The Paris-based company required more than two-thirds support from lenders, according to an Aug. 27 statement.

Carlyle Group LP, Cinven Ltd. and Altice own both companies and are considering a merger “in the context of a possible equity listing,” according to last month’s statement. They may refinance Completel’s loans, which total about 430 million euros ($568 million), by raising debt via Numericable’s parent company Ypso France SA or they may leave the debt in place.

Standard & Poor’s is considering whether to raise the ratings of Ypso Holding Sarl, Ypso France’s parent, to B+ from B because of the merger plans, the ratings firm said Sept. 5.

Numericable, which had 1.63 million subscribers at the end of 2012, received permission in July from lenders to extend its loan maturities to 2017 and 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time Completel raised 130 million euros of debt to refinance loans, a person familiar with the deal said at the time.

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