Cablevision Shareholders Withdraw Suits to Block Altice Deal

Operator Says Suits Were Without Merit
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Two shareholder lawsuits objecting to European telecom giant Altice’s $17.7 billion purchase of Cablevision Systems were voluntarily withdrawn Dec. 9 in Chancery Court in Delaware.

Cablevision agreed to be acquired by Altice on Sept. 17, in a deal that values the operator at $34.90 per share, a 22% premium to the cable company’s per share price the day before. The suits, brought by shareholders Arnold Wandel and James Gould in separate filings on Sept. 24, claimed in different language that Altice is undervaluing Cablevision.

Wandel’s suit alleged that Cablevision’s board breached its fiduciary duties by agreeing to sell the company for “inadequate consideration and by agreeing to preclude other potential acquirers from tending superior proposals.”

Gould’s suit claimed that fiduciary duties were violated because the board failed to properly value the company and failed to “take steps to maximize the value of Cablevision to its public stockholders in connection with the sale of the company to Altice.”

While no reason was given for either withdrawal, the plaintiffs would have faced a rough road in proving the deal did not value Cablevision properly. Analysts have said in the past that Altice is paying a hefty price for Cablevision’s assets.

"Both of these cases were thoroughly without merit," Cablevision said in a statement.

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