Drahi to spend €2.5bn to make Altice Europe 100% private

Drahi to spend €2.5bn to make Altice Europe 100% private

11 September 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Patrick Drahi is to take Altice Europe private, he and the company announced this morning.

The agreed deal will see his takeover vehicle buy all outstanding shares in the Amsterdam-listed company for €4.11 each, a total consideration of $2.5 billion. Altice Europe’s shares will then be delisted.

“The proposed transaction announced today will result in a new and exciting chapter for Altice Europe and our stakeholders,” said Drahi (pictured) this morning.

The board backed the deal, saying it “believes that the transaction is in the best interests of Altice Europe, the sustainable success of its business and therefore its shareholders, customers, employees, finance providers and other stakeholders”.

Shareholders will get a premium of 23.8% on Altice Europe’s closing price last night of €3.32 and a premium of 16.5% on its volume-weighted average price over the last 180 days.

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. Drahi has 52.5% of both operations.

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

Drahi said this morning: “Following the Group reorganisation in 2018, Altice Europe has successfully executed on the operational and financial turnaround strategy. Over the same period, Altice Europe has made outstanding progress in simplifying and strengthening its diversified capital structure.”

Drahi, who last year personally bought the Sotheby’s auction house for $3.7 billion, added: “With my ongoing personal involvement, Altice Europe will maintain the fundamental Altice model at heart. I am excited to continue leading Altice Europe’s loyal management and their excellent teams. Altice Europe continues to have tremendous opportunities ahead.”