You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Telecom Mogul Patrick Drahi Reorganizes Altice in Separate Companies for U.S. and Europe

Altice NV Chairman-CEO Patrick Drahi is reorganizing his cable empire with plans to split the company into separate entities for the U.S. and Europe.

The Altice USA division will be spun off from Altice NV. The remaining company will be renamed Altice Europe. Drahi will retain his tight control of both entities, serving as chairman of Altice Europe and president of the board for Altice USA. Altice said it expects the reorganization to close by the second quarter after securing shareholder and regulatory approval.

“The separation will allow both Altice Europe and Altice USA to focus on their respective operations and execute against their strategies, deliver value for shareholders, and realize their full potential,” Drahi said. “Both operations will have the fundamental Altice model at their heart through my close personal involvement as well as that of the historic founding team.

The goal is to streamline the operations of both companies, making their operations more transparent and attractive to investors. Altice has been grappling with a heavy debt load that is more than five times earnings. As part of the split, Altice USA will pay a $1.5 billion dividend to Altice Europe, helping the latter company pay down existing debt.

With the separation, Dennis Okhuijsen will focus on Altice Europe, and Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei will focus exclusively on running the cable systems acquired in 2015 and 2016 from Cablevision and Suddenlink. Altice USA is the nation’s fourth-largest cable operator. But the consolidation of its earnings with Altice NV’s cable, pay TV and telecom businesses in France and other parts of Europe made the company harder for U.S. investors to understand.

Altice USA’s debt load will top $22 billion after the dividend is paid. Goei told investors in a conference call Monday that the company recognizes that its debt-to-earnings ratio is higher than its peers and the company is aiming to pare it down to 4.5 to 5 times earnings. Goei said there are no near-term plans for Altice USA to pursue acquisitions.

Altice USA is in the midst of a carriage battle with the Starz-Encore pay-TV group. Starz’s 17 channels went dark on Altice systems Jan. 1 when the sides could not come to terms on a new deal. Altice has vowed to take a hard line on programming costs in an effort to deliver some $900 million in annual savings from the Cablevision systems, which comprise the bulk of Altice USA.

More Biz

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content