Cablevision sale to Altice for $17.7 billion completed
The sale of Cablevision Systems Corp. to Netherlands-based cable and telecommunications company Altice N.V. was completed Tuesday, Altice executives said.
The $17.7 billion deal brings to a close 43 years of control of Bethpage-based Cablevision by its founder Charles Dolan and his family. Dolan is considered an industry pioneer for his creation of Home Box Office and News 12, the first local news network run by a cable company.
“We are very excited about our U.S. business and the opportunities we see in this market,” said Altice founder and controlling shareholder Patrick Drahi in a statement. “We will accelerate network investments and bring innovative products and services to U.S. customers by leveraging our global operational expertise, scale and resources.”
The transaction, first announced in September, gives Altice about 3 million subscribers of cable, internet broadband and digital telephone services in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Altice also assumes ownership of media properties such as Newsday, News 12 and amNewYork.
Cablevision employed nearly 12,920 at the end of 2015.
Altice executives said Cablevision, together with Altice’s earlier acquisition of St. Louis, Missouri-based telecom provider Suddenlink, will form Altice USA, the fourth-largest cable business in the United States.
The company said it plans to introduce an all-in-one home center that integrates set-top cable boxes, routers and Wi-Fi modems in one device. The company also said it would introduce a new, easier to use programming interface for customers, and invest more in the Optimum Wi-Fi network “to extend the reach of broadband offerings.”
Altice USA chairman and CEO Dexter Goei said Tuesday, “Our immediate focus is on integrating our businesses within Altice, fostering their development through innovation and investment, and delivering on our plans to enhance the customer experience.” He also serves as president of parent company, Altice N.V.
Under the terms of the deal, Cablevision shareholders will receive $34.90 per share in cash. Investors BC Partners, a British private equity firm, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a pension fund manager, will hold a 30 percent stake in Altice USA.
The company also announced a 17-member Altice USA executive leadership team led by co-presidents Charles Stewart and Hakim Boubazine. Stewart will also serve as chief financial officer and Boubazine will be chief operating officer.
The Dolan family will continue to control cable programmer AMC Networks, and the Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the Knicks and Rangers sports teams, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre and the Forum, in Los Angeles.
Altice entered the U.S. market last year by buying Suddenlink Communications for $9.1 billion.
Altice also has telecom operations in Belgium, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland and the Caribbean and Indian Ocean territories.
The company owns media properties, including L’Express magazine and Liberation newspaper, in France, and the Israeli news channel i24 News.
The U.S. cable industry has consolidated in the past two years as providers face increased competition.
Altice executives have told the state Public Service Commission that they plan to reduce Cablevision’s operating annual costs by $450 million within five years.
The commission unanimously approved the sale of Cablevision last week with a number of conditions, including increasing internet broadband speeds and a prohibition against laying off service representatives and service technicians for four years.
Altice USA will be led by:
Charles Stewart – co-president and chief financial officer
Lisa Rosenblum – general counsel
Michael Schreiber – chief content officer
Lee Schroeder – head of government affairs
Victoria Mink – chief accounting officer
Patrick Dolan – president, News 12 Networks
Ed Renicker – president, media sales
Hakim Boubazine – co-president and chief operating officer
Pragash Pillai – head of Optimum operations
David Gilles – head of Suddenlink operations
Kevin Stephens – president, business services
Terry Cordova – chief technology officer
Gregg Graff – head of residential sales
Matthew Lake – chief marketing officer
Keith Sherwell – chief information officer
Colleen Schmidt – head of human resources and talent development