Altice Is Buying Cablevision In $17.7 Billion Mega Deal

Cablevision

American-owned Cablevision is about to become a European company. Telecom group Altice has agreed to purchase the cable provider for $17.7 billion, a deal that includes debt.

Both companies confirmed the deal on Thursday. The deal is being led by French-Israeli billionaire and Altice founder Patrick Drahi, who built a telecoms and cable empire in recent years via debt-fueled acquisitions in France, Portugal, Israel.

This isn’t the first US cable deal for Drahi. He purchased regional group Suddenlink for $9.1 billion in May and then said he would look to further expand his telecom empire in the United States.

Cablevision owners, the Dolan family, had long said they wouldn’t sell. Drahi’s offer to pay $34.90 in cash per share, a 22 percent premium on Wednesday’s closing price of $28.54, was apparently too good a deal to pass up.

“The acquisition of Cablevision represents Altice’s next step in the U.S. market following the announced acquisition of Suddenlink earlier this year,” Altice said in a statement. “Together both operators represent the fourth-largest cable operation in the U.S. market.”

Altice will also become the owner of the Newsday newspaper and local news channel News 12 Networks. Cablevision has 3.1 million customers in the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey area.

 The deal is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2016.