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Altice Completes Cablevision, Suddenlink Acquisitions, Drops Names

21 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Altice June 21 announced completion of the $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corporation. New York-based Cablevision together with telecom Suddenlink now form Altice USA, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, which serves more than 4.6 million Optimum and Suddenlink customers across 20 states.

Altice USA is a unit of Altice Group, founded by telecom entrepreneur Patrick Drahi and employing 55,000 people operating cable, fiber, telecommunications, content and media companies in Western Europe (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland), the U.S., Israel, French Caribbean, Indian Ocean regions and Dominican Republic.

Altice last September entered into a pact to acquire Cablevision, followed in December with the purchase of Suddenlink. Under terms of regulatory approval, Altice agreed to assimilate all employees from Cablevision and Suddenlink into the new company for the next five years.

Dexter Goei, president of Altice Group, becomes CEO of Altice USA, with co-presidents Charles Stewart and Hakim Boubazine assuming CFO and COO positions, respectively, at Altice USA.

“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,” Goei said in a statement.

Patrick Dolan, president of Altice subsidiary News 12 Networks, is the lone member of the Dolan family, whose 89-year-old patriarch Charles Dolan founded the cabler in 1988, to remain with the new company.

Patrick, along with his brother James, former Cablevision CEO, and other family members, retained ownership of Madison Square Garden Co. and AMC Networks — the former including the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, among other assets.

Vijay Jayant with Evercore ISI says the Altice deal, along with Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable and AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV, underscores ongoing consolidation within the multiplatform video program distribution ecosystem.

"Scale, network contiguity, overhead efficiencies and the belief by some managements that they can run those businesses better, will likely consolidate the cable industry to three-four scaled operators, rather than over 500 operators, most of them sub-scale,” Jayant wrote in a note last year.

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