French billionaire Patrick Drahi announced today that his telecom company, Altice, had acquired its first U.S. cable company, Suddenlink for $9.1 billion. But he may have may his eyes on an even bigger cable prize: Time Warner.
Even if you are the type to pay attention to media and telecom acquisitions, there’s a pretty good chance that you had never heard of Drahi or Altice, if you are in the U.S.
But that may change in a hurry now that Altice is paying $9.1 billion to buy Suddenlink, the seventh largest cable company in the U.S.
More intriguing, however, are reports from Reuters that Altice may be trying to acquire Time Warner, a much bigger fish that Comcast had to throw back into the pond after its merger plans were scuttled.
Altice will face serious competition for Time Warner. Still, Drahi has made it clear he has global global ambitions. So here are some key things to know about the man who wants to be a key player in the U.S. telecom market.
1. Born in 1963, Drahi ranks at No. 57 on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.
2. In 2002, Drahi founded Altice, a Luxembourg-based cable company that raised $1.8 billion in an IPO in January 2014.
3. Altice owns 75 percent of Numericable, one of France’s largest telecom companies, and more importantly, is my service provider.
4. Armed with a massive treasure chest, Altice won a brutal battle in 2014 to buy another one of France’s major telecom service providers, SFR, for $23 billion.
5. Altice also won the bidding last year to buy Virgin Mobile France last year for about $375 milllion and Portugal Telecom for $8 billion.
6. Earlier this year, according to the Wall Street Journal, Drahi hired Bernard Mourad, a Morgan Stanley banker, to lead his strategy to acquire more telecom companies.
7. Drahi was born in Morocco, holds Israeli and French citizenship, and lives in Geneva, Switzerland.
— Overnewser – Actus (@actuovernewz) May 20, 2015