Altice Refuses to Sell Shares

Altice, a Netherlands-based multinational telecoms company, has no plan to sell its shares to raise money for the company.

The telecoms and cable group added on Monday that the company has no problem with any loans and would chop its $58 billion debts through asset sales.

Altice Website
Altice rrefuses to sell it shares to raise money for its debts.

After losing 12 percent on Friday, the share of Altice bounced to regain some ground. The stock was up 12.4 percent at 9.10 euros, although it remains low by almost 60 percent since the start of the year.

The weak third-quarter results on November 2 provoked the billionaire founder of Altice, Patrick Drahi, who holds some 30 percent of its shares, to overthrow the chief executive Michel Combes.

Through debt-fuelled acquisitions, the company has grown in the United States and Europe, which raised its net debt to more than five times its annual core operating profit.

According to Drahi last week, Altice would move away from acquisitions towards debt reduction and customer satisfaction.

“Altice confirms that it is not in preparation of a cash raising by means of an equity- or equity-linked issuance and has no intention to pursue such action within the group including Altice USA,” Patrick Drahi said.

HSBS, which has a buy rating on Altice’s U.S., said that the company had no major refinancing due before 2022 and that the company’s debt was fairly well-covered by free cash flow.

Some traders had suggested that the company may face margin calls over its loans, but according to Altice, it had no margin loan problems and had a strong liquidity place.

The debt of Altice was around 49.6 billion euros, or $58 billion, by the third quarter, while the company’s stock market value is around 10 billion euros.

The telecoms and cable company repeated that it had identified non-core assets that could be sold, which includes the company’s portfolio of telecoms towers, and that sales could start as early as the first half of 2018.

Francois Godard, a European analyst, stated that Altice’s update might reassure bondholders in the short-term, but in the long run, the telecoms and cable company still need to improve its underlying performance in France.

“Bondholders will be more comfortable once they see that the French operational performance is getting better,” the analyst said.

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