Europe's Altice to Close Suddenlink Acquisition Before End of Year

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Altice's Patrick Drahi

Following the completion of both the Suddenlink and Cablevision deals, Altice’s business will be roughly 48 percent French and “upwards of one-third” in the U.S.

As it builds itself into the country’s fourth-largest cable operator, Israeli-French businessman Patrick Drahi’s Altice announced that its purchase of regional Suddenlink Communications is expected to close before the end of 2015. CEO Dexter Goei gave the timeframe as “sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas” in a conference call on Wednesday.

“We are advanced in terms of preparation and securing the management team,” he added, noting that placement is ongoing and will be announced at the time of closing. The current Suddenlink business is “performing better than expected,” Goei said, and the company is “extremely confident” in its performance once the acquisition is completed.

The company, which also announced its acquisition of Cablevision in September, said it has completed regulatory filings for that deal.

Following the completion of both the Suddenlink and Cablevision deals, the company’s business will be roughly 48 percent French and “upwards of one-third” in the U.S.

The call came the day after investment funds BC Partners and Canadian pension fund CPP Investment Board agreed to collectively take a 30 percent equity stake in Cablevision for $1 billion. Both BC Partners and CPP Investment were also part of the Suddenlink deal. The agreement fully finances the Cablevision deal.

The company posted lower results on Wednesday, with turnover down 2.9 percent in the third quarter, mainly as a result of lower sales for Numericable and SFR in France. EBITDA was up 13 percent year-over-year at €1.5 million ($1.66 million), and the company confirmed its target EBITDA as €1.92 billion ($2.12 billion) for the year.

The parent company of cable, Internet and mobile phone providers Numericable and SFR as well as telecom properties in Israel and Portugal, reported stabilization of their French business.

The company, which has focused on bundling packages of Internet, cable, mobile and landlines with its French brands, said it will focus on integration and multi-play strategy as it expands in the U.S. as well. 

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