Cablevision Systems Corp. rose to its highest level in four years after French billionaire Patrick Drahi said he was interested in acquiring U.S. cable companies.
Shares of Cablevision climbed 7.3 percent to $26.67 at the close Friday in New York, the highest price since July 2011. The stock has gained 29 percent this year.
Drahi said he is interested in companies like Cablevision and Cox Communications Inc., according to an interview today with the Wall Street Journal. His focus on U.S. cable companies isn’t new. Drahi’s Luxembourg-based Altice SA previously pursued Time Warner Cable Inc. before the second-largest U.S. cable provider struck a deal in May to merge with Charter Communications Inc. That month, Altice agreed to acquire control of smaller cable player Suddenlink Communications in a $9.1 billion transaction.
Cablevision spokeswoman Lisa Anselmo declined to comment. Todd Smith, a spokesman for closely held, Atlanta-based Cox, said the company isn’t for sale.
“We’ve been clear in the past that we’re not for sale and that remains our position,” Smith said in an e-mail. “We will, of course, continue to explore any growth opportunities that align with our business strategy.”