Ambitious Altice may fuel global growth with an IPO

Altice has moved more into the spotlight following the recent wide coverage of the company's plan to buy Orange's Dominican Republic unit, and the Luxembourg-based company clearly has some ambitious plans for global growth that could lead to an initial public offering next year.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported that the company, which operates cable and mobile services in Europe and the Caribbean, is seriously considering going public next year in order to seek further sources of financing. The company is already marketing a jumbo $1.685 billion-equivalent high yield bond package to back its recent acquisitions in the Dominican Republic, including Orange Dominicana for $1.435 billion (€1.06 billion) and cable operator Tricom.

When the Orange Dominicana deal was announced in November, Altice CEO Dexter Goei, said the acquisition was "a perfect fit with our strategic vision to offer high-quality quadruple-play services to our subscribers."

In Europe, Altice already owns a 40 per cent stake in French cable operator Numericable and also operates a number of operating units under its Altice VII holding. Altice VII groups together the company's fixed and mobile activities in Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Israel, French Overseas Territories and the Dominican Republic, while also offering B2B services in Switzerland.

The company runs HOT Cable and HOT Mobile in Israel; offers TV, fixed-line and broadband services in Belgium and Luxembourg under the Numericable brand; sells mobile services in Belgium under Coditel, an MVNO operator on the Mobistar network; sells fixed-line, TV and broadband services under the Cabovisão brand in Portugal; sells fixed-line, TV and broadband services under the Numericable brand in French Overseas Territories, Guadeloupe and Martinique; and operates Orange Dominicana and Tricom in the Dominican Republic.

Like many operators in Europe, the company is clearly interested in a strategy that would allow it to bundle cable TV, broadband and voice services with mobile services, as illustrated by its recent move in the Dominican Republic. So far it is focusing on small markets where it can build a brand and develop service strategies.

If the company does pursue an IPO, its future progress could be interesting to watch. "With EBITDA of nearly €900 million, they could be a very big public company," an unnamed banker close to Altice told Reuters.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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