A Canadian pension fund and an English private equity firm have agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in Cablevision Systems Corp. for about $1 billion, helping billionaire Patrick Drahi's Altice NV finance its takeover of the Bethpage-based cable provider.
The agreement with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and private-equity firm BC Partners means the acquisition of Cablevision is fully funded, Altice said early Tuesday. The company previously sold $1.8 billion of new Altice shares and $8.6 billion in new Cablevision debt to help finance the $17.7 billion purchase.
Altice is moving closer to completing its largest U.S. deal to date. Cablevision would vault Altice into the ranks of major pay-TV providers in the United States and accelerate the push by the 52-year-old Drahi, the company's founder and president, to create a cross-Atlantic cable giant.
The terms of the pact with Toronto-based Canada Pension and London-based BC Partners for Cablevision are similar to the deal the funds made with Altice for Suddenlink Communications. Altice, which recently moved its headquarters to Amsterdam, agreed in May to buy majority control of St. Louis-based Suddenlink -- from investors including BC Partners and Canada Pension -- in a $9.1 billion deal that marked the first U.S. foray by Drahi and Altice.
"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 U.S.," Altice CEO Dexter Goei said in a news release.
Cablevision owns Newsday. Altice's acquisition of Cablevision, announced in September, is expected to close in the first half of 2016.
With Newsday staff