Altice USA to keep Suddenlink business after strategic review

Dec 1 (Reuters) – Altice USA Inc (ATUS.N) will retain its regional internet and cable business, Suddenlink, the broadband service operator said on Thursday, following a strategic review.

The company, controlled by Franco-Israeli telecoms tycoon Patrick Drahi, had hired Goldman Sachs to run the divestment process, a source told Reuters in July, with the business likely fetching a valuation of $20 billion including debt.

Shares of Altice fell about 4% in trading before the bell.

Altice had acquired Suddenlink, which primarily serves customers in the south-central US, for $9.1 billion in 2015 and rebranded it as “Optimum” in August.

The company was exploring a sale of Suddenlink to reduce its debt load amid strong competition and subscriber losses. Altice, which has a market capitalization of about $2 billion, has a long-term debt of about $24 billion.

The stock has lost about half its value since reports of the company exploring a sale of the unit emerged.

Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D’Silva

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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