With Cablevision, Patrick Drahi continues his rush to the United States
Patrick Drahi can now set sail for the United States. The businessman at the head of Altice has just obtained the agreement of the New York Public Service Commission to buy the American cable operator Cablevision, which has a strong presence on the country’s east coast. An operation that was announced last September for more than $ 17.7 billion, and which occurred a few months after the acquisition of Suddenlink, another player in the American market.
Several elements seemed to work in favor of the group that owns SFR-Numericable in France. “With our decision today, we will see a significant investment in the New York communications landscape, which improves quality, reliability, speed and affordability for Cablevision customers,” states in a statement Audrey Zibelman, the president of the commission. The authority estimated that the acquisition of Cablevision should lead to savings, which should in part benefit consumers, and an improvement in network coverage, to which Altice has committed.
Reinforcement in the United States
Founded in the 1970s, Cablevision is mainly present in the Long Island region. Listed on the stock exchange, the company, which has more than 3 million customers, achieved sales of $ 6.5 billion, up 0.8% year-on-year, for consolidated operating income in down 7.9% to $ 848.5 million. The transaction will also allow Altice to get its hands on several local media, such as the newspaper Newsday or the News 12 Networks television channel.
This decision allows Altice to continue to strengthen its position in the United States. In December 2015, the group finalized the acquisition of Suddenlink, considered the 7th largest cable operator in the United States with a turnover over $ 2.42 billion last year and over 1.4 million residential customers claimed. It remains to be seen what the impact of these operations will be on the high debt of the Altice group.