Cable Operator Altice Delivers Biggest US Telecom IPO in 17 Years

The IPO is seen as giving the company, already the fourth-largest USA cable operator behind Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Communications, a currency in the form of its stock that it could use to help it make further acquisitions.

Altice USA opened trading Thursday at $31.60 a share with its price hitting $31.85 at the time this story was written.

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The sources asked not to be named because the information is not yet public. "With its new currency, we expect Altice USA will be active in system consolidation", Telsey Group analyst Tom Eagan wrote in a report last month. BC Partners and CPPIB have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 7,781,110 additional shares of Class A common stock.

Altice USA was formed by Altice following its acquisition of Suddenlink Communications in 2015 and Cablevision/Optimum in 2016. According to Altice USA, Altice N.V. will own 70.3% of Altice USA's issued and outstanding common stock, which will represent 98.3% of the voting power of Altice USA's outstanding common stock. The company, which has about 4.9 million residential and business customers in 21 states, had said earlier this month that it expected to price its offering at $27 to $31 per share.

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Of the 63.94 million shares offered to the public, 12.07 million shares are offered by the Altice USA, the remaining 51.87 million by selling shareholders - the proceeds of which would not go to the company. It will use the cash to redeem part of the $2 billion in Senior Notes debt it inherited from Cablevision. J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citi, Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

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