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Altice ‘planning to sell’ stake in fibre business

Cable and telecom group Altice Europe plans to sell a stake in its fibre infrastructure in its latest drive to reduce its indebtedness, according to local reports.

According to French financial daily Les Echos, the new fibre joint venture could be worth over €3 billion. In addition to reducing the company’s debt pile, securing investment partners could help the company finance the deployment of five million fibre lines in mid-sized conurbations. Altice has committed to deploying 2.7 million lines over the next two years to meet the French government’s digital society goals.

According to Les Echos, about 10 candidates are expected to submit proposals, valuing the JV at between €3-4 billion.

The move comes three months after Altice secured a deal to sell a 49.99% stake in its French transmission towers business to private equity outfit KKR.

In the case of the fibre business, participants are likely to have to commit to raising new finance alongside Altice to fund the build-out. According to Les Echos, Altice boss Patrick Drahi is likely to want to retain majority control of the new outfit, or failing that, to secure an option to buy out the partners at a future data.