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Patrick Drahi takes full control of Altice Europe

Media and telecom entrepreneur Patrick Drahi has acquired full control of Altice Europe.

Patrick Drahi

Drahi’s launch of a public offer for shares in the company he founded has enabled him to up his stake in it from 77.6% to just over 92%.

The move means that the telecom entrepreneur will be able to delist the company and take it private.

Drahi was able to overcome the objections of key minority investors in December after upping the offer price from €4.11 a share to €5.35.

That came after Lucerne Capital Management, which advised funds owning about €94 million worth of Altice Europe stock, wrote a letter in November to the board objecting to the then €4.11 a share offer in strong terms, accusing Drahi of an “illicit” attempt to transfer value to himself under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An EGM on January 7 approved resolutions that enable Drahi to take control of the company and delist it from the Amsterdam stock exchange.

The company has maintained that delisting will enable Drahi to focus on long-term strategy. The company’s debt levels have periodically caused concern among investors.

Drahi has contended that a delisting will reduce its costs, eliminating financial reporting and board costs and the need for physical general meetings.

Altice Europe also maintains that debt providers will ‘focus more on fundamental valuation and credit analysis” than equity markets.

Altice Europe announced at the end of last week that the offer of Drahi’s Next Private vehicle was now unconditional, with approximately 90.89% of shares not held by Drahi being tendered.

The company is expected to cease trading on January 26.