European telecoms group Altice has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire New York-based cableco Cablevision, paying USD34.90 in cash for each share. The total value of the deal has been estimated at around USD17.8 billion and will be financed with USD14.5 billion of new and existing debt at Cablevision, cash on hand at the cableco, and USD3.3 billion of cash from Altice. Altice notes that it has received full financing commitments from JP Morgan, BNP Paribas and Barclays. The takeover is expected to close in the first half of 2016, once applicable regulatory approvals have been obtained.
TeleGeography notes that the deal represents Altice’s second US deal market following the previously announced USD9.1 billion acquisition of 70% of the shares in Suddenlink in May this year. Once consolidated, the merged Cablevision-Suddenlink entity will be the fourth largest US cableco by subscribers, Altice claims.
BC Partners and CPP Investment Board, which between them hold the remaining 30% stake in Suddenlink, have an option to participate for up to 30% of the equity of Cablevision. While operating with independent capital structures, Cablevision and Suddenlink will draw upon management from both companies, and seek to leverage operating efficiencies and economies of scale.