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Altice files IPO for US business

Altice has filed its planned IPO registration for its US arm with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have yet to be determined.

The cable and telecom investment group has hired JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to act as joint bookrunners.

Altice USA chief Dexter Goei

Altice USA chief Dexter Goei

The filing follows reports that Altice planned to kick off the IPO process imminently. According to Reuters, two of the company’s existing shareholders, private equity outfit BC Partners and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, which together hold about 30%, would use the IPO to reduce their stakes slightly, with Altice itself seeking to retain its existing 70% stake.

Altice USA, headed by Dexter Goei, is the fourth largest US cable operator. Reports have suggested that the IPO could value the company at between US$25-30 billion and raise about US$2 billion.

Altice said it currently intends “to use the net proceeds that we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes”, without being more specific. The company is expected to use the cash from the IPO either to make further acquisitions or reduce its indebtedness, or a combination of these.

Altice highlighted its indebtedness in the ‘risk factors’ section of its SEC filing, noting that its debts stood at US$22.3 billion at the end of last year and admitting that its high leverage exposed it to risks in the event of a downturn.

The company also said it would need to raise significant amounts of funding over the next few years to fund its network investment programme. Altice has committed to iinvest significantly in Suddenlink and Cablevision’s networks, with a commitment to deliver a next-generation fibre-to-the-home network capabile of 10Gbps speeds across also of the Cablevision footprint and part of the Suddenlink footprint.

Content security specialist Nagra has extended a collaboration agreement with International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP), an alliance of international broadcasters committed to combatting unauthorised streaming and distribution of international television content in the US.