French telecoms conglomerate Altice has announced a good old reorganization in the light of its dodgy 2017.
The big move involves spinning-off Altice USA, which already has its own US stock market listing. The core company – Altice NV – will relinquish its 67.2% interest in Altice USA by handing it over to its own shareholders as well $1.5 billion in cash from Altice USA. This all seems rather convoluted but the upshot is greater separation in the running of the two corporate silos.
Founder Patrick Drahi will still own a big chunk of both and thus be in charge of them, but Altice USA will still be run by Dexter Goei and Altice CFO Dennis Okhuijsen will become CEO of Altice Europe, which itself will be split into Altice France, Altice International and Altice Pay TV, which does what it says on the tin.
“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,” said Drahi. “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.
“Altice Europe has tremendous opportunities as we deliver on our operational aspirations around much improved customer service and monetizing our premium infrastructure and content assets. Altice Europe has a unique asset base that is fully converged and fiber rich with strong number one or number two position in each market with nationwide fixed and mobile coverage. At the core of our strategy is the operational and financial turnaround in France and Portugal. In parallel, we have a clear plan to further strengthen our long-term balance sheet position as we execute our non-core asset disposals.
“Altice USA sees exciting opportunities in the US market as we start 2018 with strong momentum. We have a full operational agenda to deliver best-in-class services to our customers, drive innovation and advance our fiber investment strategy. The new organization structure will enable us to focus even more on executing this agenda while enhancing transparency for our investors. We remain confident in achieving the objectives we set out at the beginning of our journey in the US and affirm the efficiency targets set out at the time of the acquisitions of Suddenlink and Optimum.”
Among all this corporate verbiage, tinkering and general shenanigans seems to be some promising stuff, at least according to investors, as the Altice share price was up round 10% at time of writing. It’s still well below where it was three months ago, mind.