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Altice to pause acquisition drive, says Goei

Dexter Goei

Dexter Goei

Altice is to pause in its acquisition drive to focus on cutting costs and working on the integration of its existing properties, according to CEO Dexter Goei.

Goei told Bloomberg Business that the company owed it to its investors, whether creditors or shareholders, to pause, particularly in relation on large acquisitions, following its purchase of US cable operators Suddenlink and number Cablevision.

Goei said the company could hold off on major acquisitions for up to two years to focus on organic growth and the consolidation of existing assets. However, he said, the company could make an exception of US number four operator Cox is put up for sale.

Altice has built up a large amount of debt through its acquisition, in rapid succession, of France’s SFR, Portugal Telecom, Suddenlink and now Cablevision. Goei told Bloomberg that the acceleration of free cash flow from the group’s properties could see it reducing its leverage ratio significantly next year.

Altice chairman Patrick Drahi recently said that the group could buy more cable operators in the US and would like to acquire mobile assets.