Altice USA is trying to break away from its European parent in the second quarter and stand alone in the big bad cable world.
Fresh off its $2.2 billion IPO last summer, Altice USA aims to assert its new independence in a multitude of ways. It intends to create its own dedicated management team and ownership structure, report its full earnings separately, collect a $1.5 billion cash dividend on shareholders immediately before spin-off this spring, buy back $2 billion in shares after the completion of the separation and reduce its leverage to 4.5-5 times net debt to earnings.
Dexter Goei, representative for Altice USA mentioned It will lead to a complete separation of the two companies. It will significantly simplify the way each company operates.
Altice USA will not be completely independent. Despite the spin-off of parent Altice’s 67.2% interest in the US company, Altice founder Patrick Drahi will remain in charge of the company as controlling shareholder and chairman of the board. His stock holdings of the US company, though, will slightly decrease.
Altice USA will also take over the relatively new Altice Technical Services unit that houses all of the U.S. field service, construction and fiber, design, outside plant maintenance, inside plant and field-based employees serving commercial accounts.
Altice became the fourth-largest MSO in the U.S. with 4.9 million customers through its recent purchases of Cable Systems and Suddenlink Communications, however they will be putting a hold on any future acquisitions at this time to secure their place in the cable market and boost operational efficiencies.
What to Expect from Altice USA in Q2
What won’t change for Altice USA is its core strategy of building fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks throughout the former Cablevision and Suddenlink footprints. Under that strategy, the MSO plans to extend fiber lines to nearly all of its 8.5 homes passed over the next few years. With more than 150,000 homes now passed by all-fiber networks, the company aims to boost this total to 1 million households by the end of this year.
Altice USA also plans to continue on its rollout of its new home communications hub, Altice One. The plan is to deploy the hub across the MSO’s entire US footprint by the end of 2018.
Finally, Altice USA will proceed with its intention to introduce its own cellular service. Following in the footsteps of Comcast and Charter, which have mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals with Verizon, Altice USA signed a deal with Sprint that will give the cableco full access to the cellular company’s mobile network.
Now the question remain how this will affect the plethra of cable providers in the space in sense of competition and how Altice USA will stand up against the big players.