UPDATE 2-RLPC-Seven bidders line up for TDF's French unit - sources

Wed Aug 7, 2013 4:52pm EDT
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By Sophie Sassard and Claire Ruckin

LONDON Aug 7 (Reuters) - About seven bidders are lining up for Telediffusion de France's (TDF) domestic business and lenders are preparing debt packages of more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for a deal worth about 4 billion euros, people familiar with the matter said.

Interested parties include U.S. mobile tower operators American Tower and Crown Castle, Canadian pension funds CPP and PSP Investments, infrastructure funds Antin of France, Australia's AMP Capital and Macquarie, three sources said.

Leveraged buyout firms are also expected to show interest, but they might find it harder to bid more than cash-rich pension funds and tower operators expecting synergies, the same people said.

Because of a relative dearth in merger and acquisition activity this year, the deal is attracting a lot of interest from bankers.

Players are expected to make offers for the domestic unit of the digital television distribution group by Friday's deadline for first round bids, the sources said.

Paris-based Antin Infrastructure is expected to join forces with other players as it might not be able to table a 4-billion bid alone, two of the sources said.

Asian players familiar with the infrastructure sector could also be interested in TDF's French unit, the same people said.   Continued...