Altice USA Shares Rise As It Goes Public On Anniversary Of Cablevision Deal


Investors gave Altice USA a warm — although not exuberant — welcome this morning exactly one year after it became the nation’s No. 4 cable operator with its acquisition of Cablevision.

New shares in Altice USA that sold for $30 apiece in yesterday’s $1.92 billion IPO are up about 5.9% in mid-day trading.

This was the year’s second biggest IPO, trailing Snap which raised $3.4 billion in March.

The trading price suggests that the market values Altice USA at about $23.4 billion — a little more than Snap (at $20.8 billion), and slightly behind SiriusXM (at $24.4 billion).

Altice USA  is controlled by billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Luxembourgh-based Altice. At the end of 2016 it had more than 50 million internet, TV, and phone customers in Western Europe, the U.S., Israel and the Caribbean.

Last June it paid $17.7 billion (including debt) for Cablevision, the colorful and often combative cable company that HBO-creator Charles Dolan launched in 1973 and since 1995 was run by his son, James.

That followed the December 2015 deal paying $9.1 billion for 70% of Suddenlink.

Two of its owners, BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, held on to some of their stock. They were the main beneficiaries of yesterday’s IPO.

BC Partners accounts for 49% of the shares sold in the IPO, followed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board with 32%.

Stock sold directly by Altice USA represents 19% of the offering. It will use the cash to redeem part of the $2 billion in Senior Notes debt it inherited from Cablevision. The notes are due in 2025 and pay a steep 10.875% in interest.

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