3i hires banks to help exit Eltel Networks


finlandUK private equity firm 3i is reportedly preparing to exit Finnish telecommunication business Eltel Networks via an IPO or an outright sale.

Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas are advising on the sale of the company, which could be valued at around €1bn including debt, said Reuters, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

3i bought Eltel in 2007 and currently holds a 59.5 per cent stake, while BNP and the company’s management own 29.5 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

Last year the Espoo-based company posted an EBITDA of €52.4m on revenues of €1.2bn, up 0.4 per cent from the previous year.

3i is also looking to float another portfolio company, soft drinks maker and bottler Refresco Gerber, which is said to be preparing for an IPO in London.

An IPO is the preferred exit option for the business, which could be floated by the end of the year, sources told the FT.

3i bought a 20 per cent interest in the business for €84m in 2010, four years after exiting the company following a three year holding period.

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