Altice Completes Cablevision Funding

Canadian Pension Fund, BC Partners Agree to Buy 30% Equity Stake
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European telecom giant Altice said it has completed the funding for its $17.7 billion purchase of Cablevision Systems, selling a 30% equity stake in the cable operator to BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $1 billion.

CPPIB and BC Partners are investors in another Altice target – Suddenlink Communications. Altice agreed to pay $9.1 billion for a 70% interest in Suddenlink in May.  That deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Cablevision agreed in September to the Altice deal, which comprises $10 billion in cash and the assumption of $7.7 billion in company debt.  Earlier this month, Altice secured bond and loan financing amounting to about $8.6 billion for the transaction and was readying a private placement of stock to raise another $1.8 billion. There had been some concerns that raising debt for the deal could be costly as interest rates for high-yield bonds have risen. 

In a statement, Altice said with that debt financing and the equity issuance, the Cablevision acquisition is fully funded. The Cablevision deal is expected to close in the first half of 2016.

 “We are extremely pleased that BC Partners and CPPIB – our future partners in Suddenlink – have also agreed to invest alongside us in Cablevision and to continue to accompany Altice in its long-term oriented growth and investment strategy in the US,” Altice CEO Dexter Goei said in a statement.

The partners were equally pleased.

“This is an attractive opportunity to invest in a sector that we know well,” CPPIB managing director and headof private equity  Shane Feeney said in a statement. “We are pleased to further expand our relationship with Altice, a best-in-class cable operator, and BC Partners, a longstanding fund partner.”

BC Partners co-chairman and managing partner Raymond Svider added this in a statement:“We are delighted to continue to invest in partnership with Altice and CPPIB, and are highly confident in Altice’s ability to further enhance network quality, increase customer satisfaction, and meaningfully improve financial performance at Cablevision."

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