Altice enters US with Suddenlink acquisition

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 21 May 2015

European telecoms giant Altice has agreed to acquire a 70% interest in US cable firm Suddenlink Communications in a deal valued at $9.1 billion.

Suddenlink has around 1.5 million customers in about a dozen states, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona. This deal could be a prelude to a consolidation bid, according to Suddenlink chairman and CEO Jerry Kent.

"While our strong performance has afforded Suddenlink ready access to growth capital, the backing of Altice will better position the company to gain critical scale as a major consolidator in the US cable industry."

To wit, Altice is also reportedly interested in acquiring part or all of Time Warner Cable, which recently found itself 'merger-less' after its deal with Comcast fell through.

Altice echoed the acquisition lingo as well. "We are very excited about the acquisition of Suddenlink and are highly committed to continue to improve network investment, customer offers and service innovation in the attractive US market," Altice CEO Dexter Goei said. "Our investment in Suddenlink, our first in the cable sector in the US, opens an attractive industrial and strategic avenue for Altice in the US, one of the largest and fastest growing communications markets in the world."

Altice will purchase the stake from Suddenlink's owners private equity firm BC Partners, Canadian pension fund CPPIB and Suddenlink management.