Altice USA, the cable operator that Netherlands-based Altice NV put together by acquiring Cablevision and Suddenlink Communications, on Tuesday filed for an initial public offering that seeks to raise $1 billon to $2 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Going public allows Altice’s founder, French billionaire Patrick Drahi, to expand his budding U.S. cable empire by giving Altice USA public stock it can use to help finance more acquisitions.[nL1N1CR0NL]
Altice USA became the fourth-largest U.S. cable provider after its parent company acquired Suddenlink in 2015 and Cablevision the following year. It serves 4.9 million customers in the U.S., according to the company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Altice USA’s current minority shareholders, London-based private equity frim BC Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board which jointly own about 30 percent of Altice USA, are ready to lower their combined stake while Altice is expected to keep its 70 percent stake in Altice USA intact, according to the source.
JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are the banks serving as joint book-runners on Altice’s U.S initial public offering.
(Additional reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Bernard Orr)