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Altice raises $1.9 billion in year’s second-biggest US IPO

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-06-2017 Alex Barinka

New York: Billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Altice USA Inc. raised $1.9 billion in the second-biggest US initial public offering of the year.

Altice USA and some existing shareholders sold 63.9 million shares for $30 apiece, near the top end of the marketed price range of $27 to $31 each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company said in a filing earlier Wednesday that it was increasing the size of the deal because Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and BC Partners had boosted the number of shares they were offering.

The IPO comes exactly one year after Altice USA was formed when its parent company, Altice NV, closed the acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp. That business was combined with Suddenlink, which Altice bought in 2015, to create the fourth-largest US cable provider.

Altice USA’s IPO is the second-biggest of the year in the US, behind Snap Inc.’s $3.9 billion deal that includes an overallotment to underwriters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The ranking excludes real estate investment trusts, special purpose vehicles and funds.

The company reported 4.9 million customers in 21 states at the end of March, according to its latest SEC filing. Accounting for the Cablevision acquisition, Altice USA posted a net loss of $721.6 million in 2016 on revenue of $9.2 billion.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led the IPO, according to the filing. The stock will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ATUS.

Cable fight

Altice USA plans to use money raised in the IPO for acquisitions, following in the footsteps of its parent company. Drahi, 53, is well known in the global M&A market after spending the past few decades amassing a cable empire across Europe and the US.####SUBBOX####

Cable companies have been fighting for market share as consumers move away from traditional TV services, pushing consolidation across the industry. They’ve also made moves into the wireless market. Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc., the two largest US cable providers, last month announced plans to collaborate on their wireless businesses.

Others are simply combining. AT&T Inc. acquired DirecTV in 2015 to become the largest pay-TV operator in the US and is awaiting regulatory approval for its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. Last year, Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks to become the No. 2 cable-TV provider behind Comcast. Bloomberg

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