Altice, the deal-hungry cable and telecoms group controlled by Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, is lining up a potential US$185 billion bid for Charter Communications, the second-largest US cable company, with more than 26 million subscribers.
Interest in a deal by Mr Drahi’s Altice, which has grown ferociously through debt-laden acquisitions in recent years in France, Portugal and the US, is the latest in a series of consolidation moves among US telecom, cable and media providers.
It pits Mr Drahi against SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son in a battle for the hand of Charter, in which billionaire John Malone owns a 21% stake.
Altice has not formally made an approach and may not proceed, according to multiple people close to the Luxembourg-based, Netherlands-listed group. One complication will be whether the group and its advisers can amass the huge amount of debt financing needed to support a bid for its much larger rival.
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