Altice Is Buying Cablevision For $17.7 Billion

Altice, a telecoms company based in the Netherlands, has entered into a deal to buy Cablevision, a cable television provider based in the United States. Cablevision and Altice announced the deal on Thursday morning.

The boards of Altice and Cablevision have approved the deal, which is valued at $17.7 billion, according to CNBC. Altice will pay $34.90 per share for Cablevision.

On Thursday, Altice released a statement and said that the deal is expected to close in 2016.

The news of Altice buying Cablevision isn’t shocking because Altice did attempt to buy another cable giant. Earlier this year, Altice expressed interest in buying Time Warner Cable, but they ended up being beat by Charter Communications. Charter’s $55 billion purchase of the cable company is still being closed.

In June, Altice also attempted to buy the telecoms unit of Bouygues, an industrial group based in France.

According to Variety, Altice is already looking at a way to save some money by considering cutting pay for some executives at Cablevision. Patrick Drahi, the founder of Altice, said that he doesn’t like to pay salaries and that he pays as little as he can. Altice CEO Dexter Goei noted that there are hundreds of Cablevision executives that earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

Altice said that it plans on consolidating Cablevision and Suddenlink Communications, a smaller operator that the company bought earlier in the year. Altice said that this could cut around $900 million in operating costs annually.

Drahi said that he is hoping to buy more cable operators in the United States and he hopes that Altice will eventually get into America’s wireless sector.

Under the terms of the deal, if Altice calls off the deal or if it is terminated on its part, then it will pay Cablevision a $560 million breakup fee. If Cablevision calls off the deal, then it will have to pay Altice $280 million.

As of right now, Cablevision has around 2.60 million video customers, as well as around 2.70 million broadband subscribers.

According to USA Today, when the deal is finalized, then Altice will become the fourth-largest cable provider in the United States. Also, Altice will become the owners of Newsday Media Group, which is the publisher of Newsday and amNewYork.

The deal doesn’t include the Madison Square Garden Company, which is owned by the same family, the Dolan family, that controlled Cablevision. The family also owns the New York Knicks and the Rangers.

[Image by Fondation de l’Ecole polytechnique/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]