Posted on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:27 amUpdated Oct 19, 2020, 10:15 a.m.
Still missed. Coveted by Altice USA, the cable operator Cogeco opposed a new dismissal on Sunday evening to the American subsidiary of Patrick Drahi’s group, which wishes to buy back its American activities. With this “definitive” refusal, the second in just over a month, the operation never seemed so compromised.
“We are not interested in the sale of our securities,” said in a statement, the Audet family – the controlling shareholder who owns just over 70% of Canadian – shortly after the announcement by Altice USA of an improved offer. This amounts to 11.1 billion Canadian dollars (8.4 billion US dollars) against 10.3 billion (7.8 billion dollars) initially proposed in early September.
The Audet family has been offered 682 million dollars for its shares, against 612 million a month ago. A new proposal rejected “unanimously” by the majority shareholder, according to which “the evolution of share prices and operating results of Cogeco companies far outclasses those […] of Altice ”.
1.1 million in-game customers
This new refusal should definitely bury the buyout project. Altice USA said in its own statement on Sunday that if it does not come to a “mutually satisfactory agreement by November 18, 2020, or, at the very least, does not see the possibility of closing a transaction, this revised offer will be withdrawn ”.
The approximately 1.1 million Cogeco customers in the United States should therefore escape the American subsidiary of Altice. It has no other choice but to target the “small” cable operators to gain critical size (it currently has 4.9 million subscribers) and catch up with Comcast (31.5 million), Charter Communications (30 million) and Cox (6 million).
The takeover bid for Cogeco had signed the return to the great maneuvers of the company, four years after the takeover of Cablevision in 2016 for 10 billion dollars – an interlude during which it separated from the rest of the empire of Patrick Drahi via a “spin-off”. Ambitions renewed and above all, for the time being, thwarted by the ninth American cable operator.