TDF Said to Seek $5.1 Billion in Sale of French Towers

The private-equity owners of broadcast-tower operator Telediffusion de France SAS are seeking more than 4 billion euros ($5.1 billion) for the company’s French unit, people familiar with the sale said.

TPG Capital, Axa Private Equity, Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP and the French state-backed investment fund Fonds Strategique d’Investissement are set to receive first-round bids next month, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The shareholders are seeking enterprise valuations for TDF’s French unit of about 11 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which totaled about 400 million euros in 2013, two of the people said.

Private equity and infrastructure fund groups including AMP Capital and Macquarie Capital are among potential bidders that have shown an interest in TDF’s largest unit after receiving marketing materials last month, the people said.

Paris-based TDF’s shareholders, advised by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Rothschild, considered selling shares in a public offering for TDF in 2011, according to a report in Les Echos at the time. The same year, the broadcast-tower operator received lenders’ approval to extend the maturity of about 4 billion euros of loans to 2016 and sell bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Since then, TDF sold subsidiaries including Finnish Digita to First State Investment ICVC, according to TDF’s website.

The group’s customers include television networks, radio stations and telecommunications operators, according to its website. TPG and AXA Private Equity agreed to buy 60 percent of TDF for about 3 billion euros in 2006. Charterhouse invested about 241.5 million euros in 2002 in a deal that valued TDF at 2.5 billion euros at the time.

Spokesmen for AMP Capital, Axa Private Equity, Charterhouse, Goldman Sachs, Rothschild, TDF and TPG Capital declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the FSI did not immediately return a call for comment.

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