Patrick Drahi’s Altice NV stated it would acquire Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) for nearly $10 billion, showing the cable company’s deal-making desire in its quest to come in the list of the largest telecom players in the United States. Through Altice, Drahi has become an acquisitive telecom entrepreneur in Europe in a matter of just two years. He has expanded his small French cable firm into a communications company with its assets stretching right from Portugal to the Caribbean.
The latest deal values Cablevision at over $17 billion including debt and with this he European company aims to become the number four cable operator firm in the U.S. market. This attempt indicates the depth of the Drahi’s ambitions just as telecoms firms are facing roadblocks for any consolidation in Europe. Just four months ago, the European entity made its first venture into the United States with acquisition of U.S. cable firm Suddenlink in a deal valued at $9 billion.
European regulators have given mixed signals in last some months about allowing more mergers in Europe’s telecommunications and cable industry, knocking the prospects of M&A deals in the near term. Last week, Scandinavian telecom operators TeliaSonera AB and Telenor ASA abandoned merger plans after failing to obtain European antitrust approval, indicating a tougher approach in Brussels toward M&A that reduce the count of mobile-phone operators in European nations.
The future ahead
Mr. Drahi has indicated that the he is targeting U.S. market where he hopes to repeat his success in Europe. His company’s focuses on reducing costs by bundling four products: high-speed Internet, fixed- and mobile-phone offerings, and TV. This quadruple-play design has to be yet become popular in the U.S. With the acquisition announcement of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC), Mr. Drahi has confirmed that his vision is to do something bigger in the U.S.