French telecom firm Altice, led by billionaire Patrick Drahi, said Monday that it had launched an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange for its Altice USA subsidiary.
Some 46.5 million Altice USA shares are on offer, and the IPO price is expected to be between $27 and $31 per share, the company said in a statement. Five million more shares could be added later.
The operation could raise up to $1.6 billion for the company’s owners.
When first flagging the flotation in April, Altice said the funds raised would go to reducing debt and financing additional acquisitions in the United States, where Altice currently ranks as the number four cable operator, with operations in about 20 states.
Altice USA’s debt stood at $20.5 billion at the end of March.
The offering comes at a time of flux in the US telecoms landscape, with the administration of President Donald Trump expected to employ a light touch on regulation.
Altice USA could acquire ventures such as Verizon’s Fios or Cox Communications, banking sources have told AFP.
Cox has said it is not for sale, but it could potentially emerge as a corporate partner for Altice USA.
In the IPO, Altice USA itself will bring 12 million shares to the table, while investment funds CPPIB and BC Partners, who together own 30 percent of Altice USA, will seek to sell a combined 34 million shares.
The IPO, which still requires approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is on track to be Wall Street’s second-biggest of the year, after Snapchat parent Snap raised $3.4 billion in March.
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