Infrastructure investors short-listed in sale of German fibre group DNS -sources

FRANKFURT, Feb 17 (Reuters) - German private equity firm DBAG has short-listed infrastructure investors Antin, InfraVia and 3i in the sale of fibre-optic firm DNS:Net Internet Service, which is seen worth 400-500 million euros ($483-$603 mln), people familiar with the matter said.

Sell-side advisor Rothschild has asked the bidders to hand in final offers for a majority stake in the business by mid-March, they added.

DBAG, the bidders and Rothschild declined to comment, while DNS was not available for comment.

Investors seeking stable returns have increasingly turned to telecoms infrastructure assets which have proven resilient during the coronavirus pandemic.

Buyers of fibre optic cables operators have been willing to pay robust prices, and in a deal in the Netherlands, pension fund PGGM bought a stake in Eurofiber at a valuation of more than 25 times its core earnings.

DBAG owns 37.5% in DNS, with founder Alexander Lucke holding the rest. Lucke is offering shares, so any acquirer will be able to buy a majority stake, the sources said.

DNS was founded in 1998 with the aim of building fibre infrastructure in unserved areas in Berlin and the surrounding Brandenburg state. DBAG first invested in the group in 2013 and in its fiscal year 2019/2020 strengthened it with an additional 14.7 million euros in equity.

$1 = 0.8288 euros Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan