Debt-laden Altice in talks to sell data centres to Morgan Stanley - Les Echos

FILE PHOTO: Patrick Drahi, Franco-Israeli businessman and founder of cable and mobile telecoms company Altice Group attends the inauguration of the Altice Campus in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - Cable and telecoms group Altice is nearing a deal to sell its data centres in France to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, Les Echos reported on Wednesday, as the group of French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi rushes to free up cash.

"An agreement in principle on the level of valuation has been reached", Les Echos said in a report, citing one anonymous source. The data centres could be valued at around 1 billion euros ($1.07 billion), the French newspaper added.

Spokespersons for Altice and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Drahi, under pressure after his right-hand man was arrested over allegations of corruption, is striving to boost creditors' confidence in the financial reliability of his sprawling media-to-cable empire, whose combined debts total $60 billion.

Last month, Drahi promised to investors on a call that assets will be sold within Altice France or outside France to repay debt.

Spread across three separate entities, parts of the debt will soon have to be refinanced and maturities extended in the context of rising interest rates.

($1 = 0.9333 euros)

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Josie Kao)