The fourth largest cable operator in the country, Altice USA, is hoping that there will be even more deals between telecoms operators and media companies, if the proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner and AT&T happens under the administration of newly elected US President, Donald Trump.
A few months ago, Trump had hinted that he might block the propped deal between the two major companies if he gets elected. Trump said that he is planning to do so because the deal will give too much power for the leading telecom company, AT&T. This statement from Trump raised doubts among investors about the possibility of potential deals in this sector.
It is evident that the failure of this deal will certainly challenge the strategy of billionaire Patrick Drahi, who is the owner of Altice. Drahi is also betting on the merger between telecommunications operators and content providers.
Altice USA chief, Dexter Goei, said, “There was a lot said during the campaign which people don’t necessarily expect to occur during the administration. I do think that to the extent that the AT&T–Time Warner transaction gets approved, it may trigger more consolidation over the next few years here as people start to continue to look to position themselves on the convergence.”
Drahi found success through the debt-fuelled acquisitions, which were swiftly followed by cost cutting in order to improve the profits. He recently shifted his focus to the United States market by taking over New York-based Cablevision and Suddenlink, and the acquired US businesses brought numerous profits to Altice.
The third quarter adjusted earnings reported by Altice before taxes, interest, authorization, and depreciation, was approximately 8.3 percent more than what the cable operator secured in the third quarter of 2015. Reports also indicate that the core operating profit of Altice was approximately 20 percent more in the quarter.
Altice USA is planning to expand their empire and to attract more customers towards their offerings by planning for a potential initial public offering. The company hopes that this offering will draw in more subscribers, which in turn boosts the profits of the company. However, Goei said that the company is focusing on their US operations only, and they are not planning for any big acquisitions at the moment.