Multinational telecoms group Altice is rapidly expanding through acquisitions and will soon have approaching 8 million television customers. Altice has spent more than $40 billion on acquisitions since going public in January 2014. It has now transferred its corporate base from Luxembourg to Amsterdam. The move will allow its billionaire founder and chairman Patrick Drahi to retain voting control of the company as it continues its ambitious international expansion strategy.
Altice bought its way into French operator Numericable and then backed a bid to buy SFR from Vivendi. It now has a 78% stake in the combined Numericable-SFR group. Altice went on to make a bid for rival Bouygues Telecom, which was rejected.
In December 2014 Altice agreed with Brazilian company Oi to buy Portugal Telecom, subequently rebranded as MEO. The deal closed in June. The conditions of the acquisition require that it dispose of Cabovisão and ONI, its previous acquisitions in Portugal.
In May 2015 Altice agreed to buy 70% of Suddenlink Communications, the seventh largest cable company in the United States. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Altice also considered a bid to buy Time Warner Cable, after regulators ruled out its acquisition by Comcast. Instead Time Warner Cable will be acquired by Charter Communications.
Altice has a total of 4.45 million cable and telco television customers in France. It has 1.24 million former Portugal Telecom cable and telco television customers and a further 195,000 that it will divest. In Israel it has 838,000 television customers through the HOT service.
Together with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Dominican Republic and French Overseas Territories, Altice has a total of 7.03 million television customers. That does not include 0.86 million that it plans to acquire through Suddenlink in the United States.
With a total of approaching 8 million television customers, it puts Altice in the top ten groups in the informitv Multiscreen Index of leading pay-television providers worldwide.
The group reported consolidated revenues of €3.91 billion for the second quarter of 2015.