- Sale includes vote-rich class B stock recently created
- Altice shares decline as much as 10% in Amsterdam trading
Billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Altice NV, the European telecommunications company buying Cablevision Systems Corp., raised about 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) by selling new stock to help finance the takeover of the U.S. cable carrier.
Altice sold a 10 percent stake, including almost 70 million class A shares and 24.8 million vote-rich B shares at 17 euros apiece. That’s the first stock sale by the Dutch holding company since its creation by founder Drahi to let him to keep control of his cable empire while using stock to finance acquisitions. Altice managers subscribed to $170 million of the class B stock, the company said in a statement Thursday.
Altice also priced $8.6 billion of new debt, with an average cost of 7.6 percent.
The shares fell as much as 10 percent and traded 8.1 percent lower at 17.18 euros at 4:25 p.m. in Amsterdam. They are down almost 40 percent since early August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Altice, Europe’s most acquisitive cable company, agreed last month to buy Cablevision in a $17.7 billion deal to create the fourth-largest U.S. cable provider.Among potential takeover targets for Drahi in Europe is Dutch carrier Royal KPN NV, people familiar with the matter have said. Chief Executive Officer Dexter Goei said in an interview last week that Altice would take a break from its buying binge to focus on cutting costs and integrating cable systems.
Drahi, whose cable and phone empire stretches from Israel to France and the Caribbean, used Altice to make takeover bids for French carrier SFR and Portugal’s largest phone company. Altice is also the controlling shareholder in Numericable-SFR SAS, the French cable and wireless company that make a failed bid Bouygues Telecom earlier this year.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. arranged the stock sale. Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were joint bookrunners.