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  • Tue, Jun. 28, 6:44 PM
    • As was widely predicted, with Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) deal for Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) complete, the watchword now will be savings.
    • The European telecom is known for deeply slashing costs at acquisitions and it has said that Cablevision spends some of the most in the industry per customer (about $49/month in opex, vs. Altice's $14/month per customer at Numericable-SFR). It's said it wanted to cut $900M in costs at Cablevision.
    • Included in that is the closing of Freewheel, Cablevision's Wi-Fi mobile service. Altice is looking for cuts outside of customer-facing jobs, which it had to promise to lay off of for four years to win regulatory approvals.
    • It's part of Altice's ambition to end up a top-two cableco in the U.S. “It’s easier to go from No. 4 to No. 1 than it is from number zero to No. 4,” said billionaire Altice founder Patrick Drahi. The company's USA chief didn't rule out pursuing a megadeal for the recently combined Charter/Time Warner Cable (eventually).
    | Tue, Jun. 28, 6:44 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Jun. 21, 9:29 AM
    • Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) has completed its roughly $10B acquisition of Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), creating the fourth-largest broadband provider in the country.
    • Specific conditions will require Altice not to lay off any of its consumer-facing staff for the next five years.
    • The company has also agreed to pass 25% of its estimated $450M savings in operational costs onto customers and pledged to improve Cablevision’s network.
    | Tue, Jun. 21, 9:29 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, May 24, 6:53 PM
    • With Charter's deal for TWC and Bright House done, Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) may be headed for closure on its $17.7B deal for Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) after its own long road.
    • New York's Public Service Commission says in a statement that assuming conditions are met, the deal will be in the public interest.
    • That means Altice could close after a June 16 PSC vote. The deal got a blessing from the FCC early this month.
    • Conditions include many of those reported earlier: customer service and job protections (Altice reportedly wants to garner $900M in synergies, and it has a history of heavy cuts in acquisitions), along with low-cost broadband for low-income families.
    | Tue, May 24, 6:53 PM
  • Thu, May 5, 2:40 PM
    • Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) is getting a belated lift on word that New York City is recommending approving its acquisition by Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) with conditions tied to customer-facing employees.
    • Shares are up 0.4% to $34.57, just shy of the $34.90/share deal price.
    • The city's Franchise and Concession Review Committee will vote on the recommended approval next Wednesday.
    • New York City was considered a possible opponent to the deal after voicing some loud worries over job cuts and underinvestment in customer service and broadband.
    • The two companies have disputed whether the city even has a say in approving the deal, with a May 20 date before New York State's Public Services Commission looming.
    • Previously: Cablevision beats on profits, adds net customers (May. 05 2016)
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Thu, May 5, 2:40 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, May 3, 9:19 PM
    • The FCC has given the go-ahead to Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) $10B acquisition of Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC), with some conditions tied to national security.
    • It's day 180 of the FCC's informal 180-day "shot clock" for reviewing such deals.
    • It's not an enthusiastic endorsement, but the agency found no adverse effects in the deal: "Although we find that the public interest benefits are limited, the scales tilt in favor of granting the Applications because of the absence of harms."
    • In giving its approval, the FCC set aside objections from the CWA and Zoom Telephonics.
    • Before Cablevision passes into Dutch ownership, the deal still needs approval from New York. The state's PSC is scheduled to decide on the proposal May 20.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Tue, May 3, 9:19 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 25, 5:12 PM
    • New York City is still raising key concerns about Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) $10B agreement to acquire Cablevision Systems (CVC +0.4%), even as the deal's timetable winds to a close and questions still exist over whether the city has power to block the deal at all.
    • The companies don't think NYC has legal authority, though they're talking with city officials who may be pursuing concessions. The Wall Street Journal reviewed a letter sent by the city last week that again worries about whether investments will be cut in customer service and broadband, and jobs lost.
    • The state's PSC is scheduled to decide on the deal May 20, while NYC is planning a decision at a committee hearing on May 9, just two weeks from today.
    • Cablevision shares have climbed 8.6% over the past three months and have closed Altice's deal premium to just about 3.2%.
    • Now read My Top Media And Publishing Stocks For 2016 »
    | Mon, Apr. 25, 5:12 PM
  • Fri, Apr. 15, 10:27 AM
    • Recently quiet Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) has jumped 2% in the last few minutes amid reports that its $18B sale to Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) is about to get approval from New York City.
    • The city has recently figured that it lost authority in cable mergers to the state, and so it cannot stop the deal, The New York Post says.
    • The state's Department of Public Service Commission and the FCC are set to approve the transaction later in May.
    • Now read Is There An Opportunity In The Cablevision Acquisition? »
    | Fri, Apr. 15, 10:27 AM
  • Tue, Mar. 8, 8:36 PM
    • Pushing back against some demands from New York State, Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) maintains that its $17B plan to take over Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) is in the public interest even if it doesn't agree to concessions.
    • The New York Public Service Commission, and New York City, have argued for low-income broadband plans, continued investment in fiber, and job protections among a number of conditions to the deal.
    • The Dutch company is promising a wide array of plans for New Yorkers, from top-end 300-Mbps broadband to a 30-Mbps plan for $14.99/month for low-income residents. But it disagrees with a PSC staff call to share 50% of cost savings with customers, countering with 15% (and no more than 25%).
    • It also said it wouldn't maintain customer-facing jobs for five years, but said that network investment may require hiring more employees for technical work and in the back office.
    • Previously: New York City, State file objections to Altice-Cablevision deal (Feb. 05 2016)
    • Previously: Union tells New York regulators to kill Altice-Cablevision deal (Jan. 27 2016)
    | Tue, Mar. 8, 8:36 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 6:54 PM
    • A New York Public Service Commission hearing today over Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) deal to buy Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) heard some strong opposing voices, including customers and the Communications Workers of America.
    • Objections center around Altice's reputation for slashing jobs and taking on large amounts of debt in acquisitions.
    • “The current deal proposed would have a ripple effect on Cablevision’s programming, customer service, and employees,” said the CWA's Dennis Trainor. “There is a concern that Cablevision employees will lose their jobs and services will be cut for customers."
    • Altice's plan includes taking on nearly $9B in debt to close the deal; Cablevision reported its own total debt of more than $9B in its most recent results.
    • For their part, Altice and Cablevision say the CWA's take "relies on selective press accounts, mischaracterization and surmise to impugn the transaction and advance its own narrow interests."
    • Previously: Union to FCC: Reject Altice's $17.7B Cablevision buyout (Dec. 07 2015)
    • Previously: Cablevision -0.7% as Q3 revenues decline and miss (Nov. 03 2015)
    • Previously: Altice partners paying $1B to seal funding for Cablevision purchase (Oct. 27 2015)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 6:54 PM
  • Dec. 18, 2015, 5:05 PM
    • Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) has won FCC approval for its $9.1B purchase of Suddenlink, as the agency said the deal served the public interest.
    • Still pending is the European telecom's $17.7B plan to acquire Cablevision Systems (CVC -0.9%), a deal that when combined with the Suddenlink purchase would make Altice the No. 4 U.S. cableco.
    • The Suddenlink deal was the first move into the U.S. for Altice, controlled by French billionaire Patrick Drahi. It also controls broadband companies in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Israel and Portugal, and the FCC pointed to Altice's track record of improvements at those firms in approving the deal.
    • Suddenlink said last month that its Q3 revenue was up 3.6%, to $605.1M.
    • Previously: Altice partners paying $1B to seal funding for Cablevision purchase (Oct. 27 2015)
    • Previously: Altice enters the U.S. with Suddenlink stake (May. 20 2015)
    | Dec. 18, 2015, 5:05 PM
  • Dec. 7, 2015, 7:45 PM
    • Union workers are formally objecting to Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) $17.7B bid for Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) as not being in the public interest.
    • The Communications Workers of America represents some 300 Cablevision workers and has filed its objection with the FCC.
    • It's worried about substantial downsizing coming from the heavy debt load in the deal; whatever the reason, Altice (which has a slasher's reputation) had signaled in September that heavy cost cuts would come early and often at Cablevision as the parent aimed for $900M in reductions per year.
    • Cablevision spends about $49/month in operating expense per customer, while at Altice's French cableco Numericable-SFR, the figure is $14/month per customer.
    • “Altice takes on too much debt, outsources as much work as possible and then downsizes its workforce," said CWA's Dennis Trainor. "Customers get worse service and employees lose their job. Unless Altice makes commitments to protect customer service and Cablevision employees, the FCC should reject this deal.”
    | Dec. 7, 2015, 7:45 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 27, 2015, 11:28 AM
    • Exercising an option, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and BC Partners with co-investors have committed to buy a 30% stake in Cablevision (CVC +0.8%) for about $1B -- adding the final piece to Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) financing for its $17.7B Cablevision takeover, Altice says.
    • The two entities will each fund 12% of the Cablevision acquisition, with the balance provided by co-investors. Altice had previously planned a $6.3B debt offering and a $1.8B new-share offering while Cablevision marketed a $2.3B acquisition loan.
    • The new deal is connected to Altice's $9.1B takeover of Suddenlink, in which CPPIB and BC Partners sold a 70% stake to Altice.
    • The CPPIB and BC Partners Cablevision transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016.
    | Oct. 27, 2015, 11:28 AM
  • Oct. 14, 2015, 11:49 AM
    • French media giant Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) -- in the middle of a $17.7B pursuit of Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) -- should be trading about half of where it is today, ION Asset Management says in making its short case.
    • The company is overpaying for its acquisitions, said Stephen Levey and Jonathan Half at the Sohn Investment Conference in Tel Aviv, and they're doubtful about Altice's targets for margins and cost-cutting.
    • Altice's Patrick Drahi has suggested heavy cuts are on the way for Cablevision, to the tune of $900M annually.
    • The company is also in Israel via its ownership of cable operator HOT.
    • Shares closed down 0.2% at Euronext Amsterdam.
    • Previously: Next for an Altice-controlled Cablevision: Heavy cost cuts (Sep. 18 2015)
    | Oct. 14, 2015, 11:49 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 3, 2015, 6:35 PM
    | Oct. 3, 2015, 6:35 PM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 25, 2015, 7:15 PM
    • With investors grimacing at the leverage being marshaled, Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) is scaling back on a debt offering to help fund its $17.7B acquisition of Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC), the Financial Times reports.
    • Altice has boosted the yield offered and reduced a planned offering by $1B, to a total $5.3B. Cablevision marketed a $2.3B acquisition loan as well, and its bonds have been tumbling since the deal's announcement, with yields jumping by about 200 basis points.
    • Some of the new debt is getting 10%-plus yields. Altice aims for a debt/EBITDA of five times; the Cablevision deal would boost that ratio to seven times, and there's some skepticism that Altice can reduce costs as much as planned.
    • Elsewhere, Altice CEO Dexter Goei said this week that though the company is hungry for acquisitions, it's liable to pause for a while -- a few months to a couple of years -- as it digests the deals for Suddenlink and Cablevision and focuses on leverage. But: "The only thing that would make us scratch our heads is if Cox came up and said 'I'm going to auction my business.' " Private Cox isn't on the block, at the moment.
    | Sep. 25, 2015, 7:15 PM
  • Sep. 21, 2015, 6:56 PM
    • The Dolan family's choice to cash out of Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) is creating a big win for shareholders, Morningstar says, as Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) has offered more than Cablevision was worth going it alone.
    • The company's well entrenched in the Northeast, Michael Hodel writes, though the easy growth is likely over, and Verizon is going to put steady pressure on Cablevision's share.
    • Comcast and Time Warner Cable have yet to match Cablevision's 40% penetration of Internet access, and it's taken advantage of a high-income customer base in New York City, but the New York market is a double-edged sword, Hodel says, because of Verizon's aggression -- and Cablevision will be pressed by Frontier in Connecticut.
    • The firm has raised its fair value estimate to $33/share from $16/share, though it says Cablevision shareholders could face significant losses if the deal somehow didn't go through. CVC closed at $33.12 today.
    | Sep. 21, 2015, 6:56 PM