Altice knocks €180m off €50bn debt by selling Swiss unit
Indebted Altice makes €180m by selling Swiss data centre and telecoms business
Altice is set to cut around €180 million of its €50 billion debt by offloading its Swiss data centre and telecoms business to a private equity purchaser.
Paris-based InfraVia Capital Partners will buy the business, which includes Green.ch and Green Datacenter, for 214 million Swiss francs ($217 million or $182 million).
According to Altice, which owns the SFR mobile operator in France, PT Telecom in Portugal and US cable companies Suddenlink and Cablevision, the deal is expected to close in early 2018.
InfraVia was founded in 2008 by Vincent Levita and Laëtitia Feraud and operates from a single office in Paris. It focuses on mid-cap European investments, working with three infrastructure funds.
According to its website, Green.ch has more than 100,000 customers in 80 countries. Its Green Datacenter subsidiary has four data centres, aiming at medium and large companies. It recently opened GreenDatacenter Zurich West as the first Swiss data centre with Tier-III design certification. Green.ch provides internet connections, hosted services, multimedia services and data backup solutions.
Shareholders have not welcomed Altice’s buying spree over the past couple of years. Its share price on the Amsterdam stock exchange has dropped from €23.26 in early June 2017 to around €6.75 this morning. The current share price puts the company’s market capitalisation at €10.6 billion – about a fifth of the group’s debt.
Last month the company, controlled by founder Patrick Drahi, removed the CEO, former Vodafone and Alcatel-Lucent executive Michel Combes. Drahi told shareholders that he would focus on reducing debt.