European telecoms group Altice is to acquire Cablevision in a deal worth $17.7 billion. The move follows Altice’s announced acquisition of Suddenlink earlier this year, and together both operators represent the fourth largest cable operation in the US market.
Cablevision is the leading operator in the New York metropolitan area. With a network passing more than five million premises, Cablevision serves more than 3.1 million customers, with approximately 65 per cent of its cable customers subscribing to triple-play services.
The acquisition also includes: Lightpath, the company’s business services unit; News 12 Networks, a 24-hour local television news network in the US; Newsday Media Group; and Cablevision Media Sales, the company’s advertising sales division.
As part of Altice, it is hoped Cablevision stands to benefit from additional international operational expertise, enhanced scale and further investment support. Cablevision and Suddenlink will draw upon management from both companies creating a communications services and technology group in the US market with 4.6 million customers in 20 states.
“As a family business we are proud to be entrusted by the Dolan family with the ownership of Cablevision and look forward to continuing the pioneering path they have paved for us,” commented Patrick Drahi (pictured), founder and president of Altice. “The strategy of Altice in the large and highly strategic US market is reinforced with the acquisition of Cablevision. We will be in a stronger position, as in all other markets in which we operate, to deliver the best services, invest in the most advanced technology, and develop innovative products for the benefit of our customers.”
Dexter Goei, CEO of Altice: added: “We are very excited about our acquisition of Cablevision, which has developed into a pre-eminent cable operator under the steady, long-term ownership of the Dolan Family. This acquisition, our second in the cable sector in the US, is the next step in Altice’s long-term oriented strategy in the US, one of the largest and fastest growing communications markets in the world.”
he transaction is to be financed with $14.5 billion of new and existing debt at Cablevision, cash on hand at Cablevision and $3.3 billion of cash from Altice. BC Partners and CPP Investment Board have an option to participate for up to 30 per cent of the equity of Cablevision.