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Altice N.V. to Buy Back Stock

Altice N.V., the European telecom company that is the parent to U.S. cable operator Altice USA, said it will buy up to 1 billion euros of its stock over the next year, adding that it is evaluating the uses of its excess cash, including for M&A.

Altice USA has been the subject of intense speculation around a possible bid for Charter Communications. While Charter has declined comment, and some of its biggest investors have dismissed any play for the company, Altice has reportedly been lining up banks for a possible bid.

Altice USA shares were up about 1% (30 cents per share) to $30.98 in early trading Monday.

Altice N.V. said Monday that it plans to begin buying back its Class A and B shares on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange today (Aug. 28), with the buyback ending no later than Aug. 31, 2018. It plans to either retire the shares or place them in treasury.

Altice N.V. said in a statement the repurchase is part of its overall strategy to create superior shareholder returns, as well as continued confidence in its operations and in meeting its near and medium-term operational and financial targets.

“Going forward, Altice will continue to assess the use of excess cash for either significantly accretive M&A opportunities or further shareholder returns,” the company said in a statement.