Thursday, October 23, 2008
Chickens, homes, roosts, etc.
Way back in 2006, I wrote a few pieces on some of the baffling PE transactions occuring in the Dutch cable market at the time, expressing amazement and concern at the valuations and strategic rationales involved. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks like the wheels are really starting to fall off. Once you have consumer groups and newspapers on your tail, you're in real trouble, particularly if you're carrying a lot of leverage (9.0x is what I hear, though I don't have access to any information as it was a private transaction) and your chief competitor is positioned to generate EUR2.4bn of free cash flow every year for the foreseeable future. What's the Dutch for "kaboom"?