Cable group Altice sets IPO price range

PARIS Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:07am EST

PARIS Jan 20 (Reuters) - Altice, which owns French and Belgian cable companies and mobile operations in Israel, has set a price range of 24.75 to 31.25 euros per share for its market debut, offering to sell 20 to 25 percent of the business depending on demand.

The initial public offering (IPO), which is valued at 1.5 billion euros ($2.03 billion) assuming full exercise of an over-allotment option, will be marketed from Monday to Jan. 30 to institutional investors in Europe and the United States and individuals in the Netherlands, the company said.

The expected free float will be between 20.8 and 25.6 percent, excluding the over-allotment option of 15 percent of shares, Altice said. The shares are due to begin trading on Jan. 31 on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam.

Altice's owners and management, including founder and Chairman Patrick Drahi, are seeking to raise funds to reduce the group's debt and bolster its ability to expand through acquisitions.

Altice agreed in November to buy Orange's mobile unit in the Dominican Republic for $1.4 billion and touted a pipeline of possible deals in a pitch to investors this month. It also owns 40 percent of French cable operator Numericable and the largest pay-TV company in Israel.

Altice's IPO will include an issue of 750 million euros worth of new shares by the company, which is now owned by founder Drahi and management. Next LP, a holding company owned by Drahi, will also sell existing shares worth 555 million euros.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are running the offering and acting as joint bookrunners along with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. ($1 = 0.7376 euros) (Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Lionel Laurent and David Goodman)