PARIS (Reuters) - Altice USA, the cable operator that Netherlands-based Altice NV (>> Altice) put together by acquiring Cablevision and Suddenlink Communications, will be valued at up to $22 billion (17.38 billion pounds) after its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Dutch holding company said on Monday that it plans to sell up to 7 percent of Altice USA, indicating an expected price range of $27-$31 per share, valuing the business at between $20 billion and $22 billion.
Of the projected $1.6 billion in proceeds at the top end of the price range, Altice USA would receive $374 million because about three quarters of the shares sold will be offered by London-based private equity firm BC Partners and fellow stakeholder the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).
The IPO announced in April is viewed as a means for Altice's founder, French billionaire Patrick Drahi, to expand his burgeoning U.S. cable empire by giving Altice USA public stock it can use for further acquisitions.
Altice USA will need all the financial firepower it can muster to compete for U.S. acquisitions with rivals Charter Communications Inc (>> Charter Communications Inc) and Comcast Corp (>> Comcast Corporation) in an expected wave of sector consolidation.
The company has yet to indicate when it expects the IPO to take place.
Upon completion of the IPO, Altice USA's parent and its affiliates will hold 75.2 percent of the company's capital and 98.5 percent of the voting rights thanks to a separate bundle of stock.
BC Partners and CPPIB would jointly own about 17 percent of Altice USA, according to its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This means that Drahi, the majority owner of Altice, will keep tight control of its U.S. division, led by Dexter Goei.
JP Morgan (>> JP Morgan Chase & Company), Morgan Stanley (>> Morgan Stanley), Citigroup (>> Citigroup) and Goldman Sachs (>> Goldman Sachs Group) are joint bookrunners on the IPO.
(Editing by David Goodman)
By Mathieu Rosemain