Mergers and acquisitions
On Thursday, European telecom Altice announced that it is buying Cablevision, the fifth largest U.S. cable company, for $34.90 a share, or about $17.7 billion including debt. Altice, based in Amsterdam, is run by Patrick Drahi, a billionaire investor who has expanded aggressively in Europe, bundling four services: cable TV, broadband internet, fixed-line phone service, and mobile phone service. The "quadruple play" bundle isn't common in the U.S. market, but "my vision is to do the same in the U.S., but bigger," Drahi told The Wall Street Journal.
This is Altice's second major foray into the U.S. cable market, after its $9.1 billion purchase of Suddenlink Communications earlier this year. Cablevision is a much bigger acquisition, though, in part because it is the largest cable operator in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area. The deal is expected to face regulatory scrutiny.