Altice IPO pricing values CPPIB-backed U.S. business at up to $22 bln: Reuters

Altice USA, the cable operator that Netherlands-based Altice NV put together by acquiring Cablevision Systems Corp and Suddenlink Communications, will be valued at up to US$22 billion after its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Dutch holding company said on Monday that it plans to sell up to 7 percent of Altice USA, indicating an expected price range of US$27 to US$31 per share, valuing the business at between US$20 billion and US$22 billion.

Of the projected US$1.6 billion in proceeds at the top end of the price range, Altice USA would receive US$374 million because about three quarters of the shares sold will be offered by London-based private equity firm BC Partners and fellow stakeholder Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

The IPO announced in April is viewed as a means for Altice’s founder, French billionaire Patrick Drahi, to expand his burgeoning U.S. cable empire by giving Altice USA public stock it can use for further acquisitions.

Altice USA will need all the financial firepower it can muster to compete for U.S. acquisitions with rivals Charter Communications Inc and Comcast Corp in an expected wave of sector consolidation.

The company has yet to indicate when it expects the IPO to take place.

Upon completion of the IPO, Altice USA’s parent and its affiliates will hold 75.2 percent of the company’s capital and 98.5 percent of the voting rights thanks to a separate bundle of stock.

BC Partners and CPPIB would jointly own about 17 percent of Altice USA, according to its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This means that Drahi, the majority owner of Altice, will keep tight control of its U.S. division, led by Dexter Goei.

JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are joint bookrunners on the IPO.

Update: BC Partners and CPPIB became shareholders in Altice USA with the Suddenlink acquisition two years ago.

By Mathieu Rosemain

(Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Pgiam/iStock