Altice reviewing options for €3B fibre assets - Mobile World Live

Altice reviewing options for €3B fibre assets

04 OCT 2018

Altice Europe confirmed it is conducting a strategic review of its fibre infrastructure, following speculation the telecoms group had received numerous bids from private equity players seeking a stake.

The company said in a statement the review could see it “further accelerate its deployment”, as well as explore financial partnerships.

“No final decision with respect to any strategic transaction involving its fibre infrastructure has been taken, and it is yet uncertain that any transaction will be concluded,” added the company.

Altice Europe said it had “taken note” of recent market speculation over its fibre infrastructure, which seemingly prompted the release of its statement.

Bloomberg, citing sources, reported this week that the company’s fibre-to-the-home venture, which will help with the rollout of high-speed networks in France, attracted initial bids as part of an auction from KKR; the private equity division of Allianz; Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System; and Macquarie Group.

The companies are seeking a 40 per cent to 60 per cent stake, which could fetch Altice Europe between €1.5 billion and €3 billion. The figure could rise as the auction progresses. Final bids are due next month, added Bloomberg, although the companies in question could still drop their bids.

Altice Europe amassed a debt pile following a period of aggressive M&A, which led to a falling share price and diminishing investor confidence in 2017.

Through its fibre asset stake sale, Bloomberg said the company is looking to share the burden of investing in next-generation high speed networks by partnering with financial companies.

Dominican deal
News of Altice Europe’s potential fibre sale follows disposals of some tower operations and other assets, as the company restructures following the financial struggles.

In a separate statement, the company announced it has now closed a transaction to sell 100 per cent of its tower business in the Dominican Republic to Phoenix Tower International, a subsidiary of asset management company Blackstone.

The Dominican Republic deal followed a €2.5 billion agreement to sell a stake in its tower assets in France and Portugal in June 2018. It also spun off its US business in January 2018 and entered into an agreement to sell its international voice business two months later.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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