With its nearly $4 billion bid to acquire Atlantic Broadband all but a memory, Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told analysts Wednesday that the company still wants to grow via acquisitions, and has its eye on a handful of potential “bite-sized” deals.
“We definitely want to go out there and find attractive MVPDs to acquire,” Goei said on a conference call to discuss Q4 results. He added that while there are a handful of smaller operators to acquire, that field is narrowed, due to geographic and competitive reasons, is further narrowed down to “a couple.”
Altice USA teamed up with Canadian telecom company Rogers Communications to launch an unsolicited bid for Atlantic Broadband parent Cogeco in a deal valued at about $7.8 billion. Altice USA originally said it would spend $3.6 billion for Atlantic Broadband, upping that bid to about $3.9 billion, but was continuously rebuffed by Cogeco’s controlling shareholder. After several attempts to get a deal done, Altice USA officially abandoned the effort in November.
“The bite-sized, Service Electric-type acquisitions are very attractive for us,” Goei said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to unlock one of those this year. But we’ll continue to try to unlock as many of those as possible.”
Goei said that in the absence of M&A, Altice USA would use those resources to buy back its stock. But he added he wouldn’t turn down a large deal if it came along.
“If something like an Atlantic Broadband comes up for sale, or even a larger size than that, we definitely continue to believe that M&A is the best use of our capital if anything is available,” Goei said.
Michael Farrell is senior content producer — finance.
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