Four suitors express an interest in Forthnet stake


Troubled alternative telecommunications provider Forthnet has four suitors – two from the industry (Vodafone and Wind) and two others which have not been named but are private equity funds with a strategic interest.

The expressions of interest in acquiring Forthnet – owner of the Nova satellite TV platform – were made last Friday, as consultant Nomura had dictated.

Forthnet’s creditor banks, which have now transformed the debt into shares, are about to begin a formal procedure for the sale of their combined 33 percent stake in the telecom that will allow for binding expressions of interest.

The banks are eager to find an investor quickly and a well-informed source said that their objective is to have this process completed by the end of the year. If that doesn’t happen, the banks have agreed to securitize the company’s entire convertible debt and take control of over 90 percent of Forthnet, imposing their choices and appointing their preferred management. Until then they have commissioned Deloitte to monitor the day-to-day activities of the enterprise.