Altice Europe's Portuguese Fiber Draws Brookfield, KKR

(Bloomberg) -- Altice Europe NV’s Portuguese fiber network is attracting interest from private equity and financial investors as the firm looks for ways to raise funds to pay down debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, KKR & Co. and Macquarie Group Ltd. are among the firms that may consider bids for a stake in the network, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure investment arm and Blackstone Group LP, as well as Spanish infrastructure company Cellnex Telecom SA could also take a look, they said.

Altice Europe is seeking a value of about 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) or more for the business, while bidders estimate the asset could be worth up to 3.5 billion euros to 4 billion euros, the people said. The company may ask for formal bids as soon as next month, though it hasn’t yet decided how big of a stake to sell, one of the people said.

No final decisions have been made on the sale and some bidders may decide against making an offer. Representatives for Altice Europe, Brookfield, CPPIB, KKR, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone and Cellnex declined to comment.

Billionaire Patrick Drahi is selling stakes in a number of assets as he looks for ways to share the cost of building out his network and reduce the company’s debt load. Altice Europe undertook a similar asset sale for its French fiber-to-the-home venture last year. It also sold stakes in mobile towers in France and Portugal, partnering with KKR and Morgan Stanley.

Reuters had reported Altice Europe’s plans to start the auction and the names of some of the bidders earlier this month. Altice’s Portuguese fiber network has passed 4.5 million homes and plans to reach 5.3 million next year.

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