Telekom Austria back on the race for Serbia’s cable operator

According to sources from Bloomberg, Telekom Austria is back in the race to purchase Serbian cable operator Serbia Broadband (SBB), together with private equity funds, for up to EUR 1 billion.

The other bidders included private equity groups Providence Equity Partners and Cinven Advisers, as well as Altice Finco. SBB, which also has a unit operating in Slovenia, is owned by London-based private-equity firm Mid Europa Partners.

The same sources state that the cable operator could be sold for as much as 10 times the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, while Telekom Austria would have to sell new shares to fund the purchase.

The due-diligence process, in which bidders analyze SBB’s accounts and file new bids, may take until the end of September. Altice, which owns cable operators in countries including Israel, Belgium and Switzerland, plans to submit its bid in October, one person said for Bloomberg.