Drahi to take 100% control of €6.4bn Altice Europe as shareholders approve deal

Patrick Drahi Altice.jpg

Patrick Drahi has succeeded in persuading Altice Europe’s shareholders let him take the company private.

A shareholders’ meeting in Amsterdam yesterday approved all resolutions that will allow Drahi’s special purpose company Next Private to buy up outstanding shares at €5.35 each.

The deal values Altice Europe at €6.4 billion, though Reuters last night noted that its net debt was €29 billion at the end of September 2020. At today’s share price of €5.33, the company is valued at €6.87 billion. Three years ago its market cap was €13.7 billion.

Drahi (pictured) had to raise the offer price from his original €4.11 a share because of shareholder dissatisfaction. They have until 21 January to accept the latest offer.

Shareholders voted in favour of all five resolutions at yesterday’s extraordinary general meeting.

According to an analysis by Paris-based financial newspaper Les Echos, Alain Weill, the CEO of Altice France, will receive more than $6 million for his Altice USA shares thanks to the shareholders approving the resultions yesterday.

As a result of the decisions, Altice Europe shares will be delisted from the Euronext Amsterdam exchange.

Drahi built up Altice empire in Europe and the US, before the group was split into two, Altice Europe and Altice USA, in 2018.

The European business includes French mobile operator SFR as well as the former Portugal Telecom. Altice bought control of SFR from Vivendi in 2014 for €17 billion and later acquired the rest of the company in stages.

The company has also sold off stakes in its fibre networks in both France and Portugal, as well as tower businesses.