Just days after it completed the operational merger of its Orange Dominicana and Tricom business units – creating Altice Dominicana – Netherlands-based Altice Group is said to be planning a sale of the enlarged business as part of its strategy to trim its EUR51 billion (USD60 billion) debt mountain. According to the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, Altice has earmarked the company for disposal, and will seek to sell it via an auction. TeleGeography notes that Viettel Group, Millicom International Cellular (MIC) and AT&T Inc have all expressed an interest in entering the market in the last year, while Cable & Wireless Communications (now part of Liberty Global) and Digicel Group are also likely to be interested in the unit, having missed out on the acquisition of Orange back in 2013 (see below).
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in November 2013 Altice signed an agreement to acquire full-service telco Tricom from Hispaniola Telecom, a company then controlled by Amzak Capital Management and Inversiones Bahia, for USD400 million. Later that month, Altice agreed to buy mobile operator Orange Dominicana from Paris-based Orange Group for EUR1.1 billion (USD1.435 billion). Despite suggestions that the two businesses would be merged with immediate effect, they continued to trade separately during the ensuing four-year period.