Altice to buy US cable operator Cablevision for $17.7 billion

Altice, a telecom network operator and cable company in Europe, is set to buy the US-based cable operator Cablevision for $17.7 billion, including debt.

An official announcement is expected today.

As part of the deal, BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the minority stake holders of Suddenlink , may buy 30 percent of Cablevision’s equity, AP and Reuters reported today. Suddenlink is owned by Netherlands-based Altice.

The strategy of Altice is to expand in the U.S. cable market in a big way. Altice revenue fell 2 percent to € 3,906 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Altice’s recent initiatives
# Closed acquisition of Vivendi’s 20% stake in Numericable-SFR in May
# Signed agreement to acquire a 70% stake in Suddenlink
# Acquired Portugal Telecom in June
# Regulatory disposals of Cabovisao & Oni under way
# EGM to create Altice NV and adopt dual class share capital structure
# Acquired stake in NextRadioTV

Cablevision, which operates primarily in the Greater New York area, was valued at $7.89 billion as of Wednesday’s close based on its outstanding shares as of July 31.
Altice Capex

The US cable market is facing consolidation.

Charter Communications, supported by cable pioneer John Malone, is trying to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House for $67.1 billion.

Earlier, Comcast, which announced its enterprise focus, tried to purchase Time Warner Cable. But it dropped the acquisition plan because of regulatory setbacks.

In another deal, American wireless major AT&T in July acquired satellite TV company DirecTV for $48.5 billion to become the largest U.S. pay-TV company.

Altice, controlled by founder Patrick Drahi, has expanded from a small regional Internet and cable provider in France’s Alsace region to making an $18.5 billion acquisition last year of France’s No. 2 mobile phone operator, SFR.

Earlier this year, Altice held preliminary talks with Time Warner Cable about a possible deal. Altice CEO Dexter Goei earlier said that the European cable company is aiming for half of its portfolio to be U.S. business.

In May, Altice announced a $9.1 billion deal to buy Suddenlink, the seventh largest U.S. cable company based in St. Louis, from private equity investors.

Baburajan K
[email protected]