General Cable share offer to raise £230m

General Cable, the French-owned UK cable group, is to raise up to £230m through an international share offer, valuing the company at between £557m and £646m.

The group is the second after Telewest to seek a listing in London and will be quickly followed by Nynex, which is expected to float at the end of April or early May, and by Bell Cablemedia later this year.

Philippe Galteau, managing director of General Cable, said: "We believe we are the highest quality investment in a rapidly growing industry." He cited General Cable's emphasis on telephony rather than television, and its focus on businesses and other "high-quality" customers.

General Cable, which is owned by Compagnie General des Eaux, plans to list its shares in London and on the Nasdaq exchange in the US. The offer represents 35 per cent of the company's share capital and will leave CGE with 58 per cent of the enlarged group.

The share price will be set by a process of bidding among international institutions but is expected to be between 220p and 255p. Lazard Brothers has been appointed as global co-ordinators with NatWest Securities acting as joint local managers in Britain. Trading in the shares is expected to begin on 20 April.

General Cable has interests in Yorkshire Cable, Birmingham Cable Communications and The Cable Corporation in the west London area and beyond. The franchises cover 1.7 million homes. The money raised will be used to help fund completion of the networks and to pay off £92m of debt.

Mr Galteau said the company was on the look-out for expansion opportunities but he denied plans to buy out existing partners, including Telewest, Comcast and Singapore Cable.

Of the existing franchises, the Cable Corporation and Birmingham Cable have completed about half their networks and are operating cashflow-positive.

Yorkshire Cable, the third-largest group of regional franchises, is only 18 per cent built and will not be complete until 2001. The business telephone network in Yorkshire will be finished in 1997.

City analysts said General Cable was well respected and had attractive assets. However, one said the expected pricing of the offer appeared to value the company relatively highly compared with Telewest and with Videotron, a UK cable company seeking a Nasdaq listing. Shares in Telewest, which raised about £360m in November, are below the offer price of 182p. Some industry observers say the performance of its shares was hit by a sharp drop in the Dow just after trading began in New York, and a rush of shares back to the UK.

Mr Galteau insisted General Cable had much to differentiate it from the rest of the sector. "We are market-led and the greatest market opportunities are in telecommunications."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003