Altice N.V. board approves plans for separation of Altice USA from Altice NV
Altice N.V. announces that its Board of Directors has approved plans for the separation of Altice USA from Altice NV, which will be renamed "Altice Europe." The separation will enable each business to focus more on the distinct opportunities for value creation in their respective markets and ensure greater transparency for investors. Altice NV aims to complete the proposed transaction by the end of the second quarter 2018 following regulatory and Altice NV shareholder approvals. The separation is to be effected by a spin-off of Altice NV's 67.2% interest in Altice USA through a distribution in kind to Altice NV shareholders. Following this proposed transaction, the two companies will be led by separate management teams. Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, will retain control of both companies through Next and is committed to long-term ownership. Post- separation, Drahi will serve as President of the Board of Altice Europe and Chairman of the Board of Altice USA. Simultaneously, the Board of Directors of Altice USA, acting through its independent directors, today approved in principle the payment of a $1.5B cash dividend to all shareholders immediately prior to completion of the separation. Formal approval of the dividend and setting of a record date are expected to occur in the second quarter of 2018. The payment of the dividend will be funded with available Optimum revolving facility capacity and a new financing at Optimum. Altice NV will use EURO$625 million of its EUR$900M of proceeds received in the Altice USA dividend to prepay a portion of the Altice Corporate Financing facility and will retain EUR$275M on balance sheet. In addition, the Board of Directors of Altice USA has authorized a share repurchase program of $2B, effective following completion of the separation. In the spirit of enhanced accountability and transparency, Altice Europe will reorganize its structure comprising Altice France (including French Overseas Territories), Altice International and a newly formed Altice Pay TV subsidiary. This will include integrating Altice's support services businesses into their respective markets and bundling Altice Europe's premium content activities into one separately funded operating unit with its own P&L. Altice NV's ownership of Altice Technical Services US will be transferred to Altice USA prior to completion of the separation for a nominal consideration.