Shaken Altice abandons M&A; plots tower sale

21 Nov 2017

Netherlands-based Altice Group has taken steps to restore shaken investor confidence amid concerns over its tumbling share price and EUR51 billion (USD60 billion) debt mountain. The group’s shares have almost halved in recent weeks following weaker-than-expected third-quarter results at its largest division, SFR in France. In addition, CEO Michel Combes resigned earlier this month, prompting company founder Patrick Drahi to reinstate himself as chairman.

A statement issued by the group on Sunday 19 November, entitled ‘Altice Responds to Recent Market Speculation and Misinformation’, read: ‘Altice confirms its plans to de-lever its balance sheet and bring leverage in line with or below its stated targets over time. Altice reiterates that it will not pursue any new meaningful M&A opportunities. In addition to the operational turnaround in France, the disposal of non-core assets within Altice Europe is central to Altice’s de-leveraging plan. Certain non-core assets have already been identified including Altice’s tower portfolio. Altice has initiated processes to effect disposals as early as the first half of 2018 and will update investors in due course on its progress.’

Further, Altice confirms that its majority shareholder Next (59.93%) does not hold any margin loan exposure related to Altice, and the company’s management team has not taken any active decision to sell Altice shares.

Netherlands, Altice Europe (formerly Altice Group)