Altice plans sales of data centres and European carrier stakes

Altice plans sales of data centres and European carrier stakes

Patrick Drahi Altice.jpg

Patrick Drahi’s Altice Group is reported to be considering various sell-offs of its telecoms assets across Europe.

Under pressure from investors to reduce the debt levels of its various portfolio companies in the face of high borrowing costs and upcoming maturities, French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi’s company is reportedly considering selling data centre assets and stakes in European carriers.

Altice’s total debt has reached $60 billion.

Bloomberg reported that Altice France CEO Arthur Dreyfuss told employee’s that advisors had been hired across all of Altice’s geography’s to consider selling equity stakes.

In addition, Dreyfuss is reported to have told employee’s that Altice was refinancing French fibre company XpFibre.

Details of the proposed asset and equity sales were revealed by local press.

Firstly, on Wednesday, Les Echos reported that "An agreement in principle on the level of valuation has been reached," between Altice and Morgan Stanley. The assets in question include 92 data centres in France, which would fetch Altice €1 billion ($1.1 billion, or just over 1.8% of the total debt).

Bloomberg followed up that Dreyfuss told Altice employee’s a data centre sale in France and Portugal would be completed this Autum.

On Thursday, Le Monde reported that Altice gave a mandate to Lazard and BNP Paribas, with the intention of investigating a stake sale of French mobile network operator SFR and options for Altice Portugal.

Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan have also been contacted by Altice, according to Le Monde, with a focus on ad-tech company Teads and Altice Dominicana, which offers mobile and fixed services, broadband, cable TV and Triple Play.

Speaking to investors in London, Drahi also raised the possibility of merging SFR with one its French competitors.

However, he acknowledged that a tie-up would be subject to the European regulators attitude towards markets moving from four mobile carriers to three.

As reported by Capacity recently, the EU appears to have soured on three player markets as of late.

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