Altice USA Makes Impressive NYSE Debut

Altice USA stock rose as high as $32.74 per share, up 9% or $2.74 each from its $30 IPO price, in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Altice USA, a subsidiary of European telecom giant Altice N.V., priced its IPO Wednesday night at $30 per share. The cable company, which bought Suddenlink Communications in December 2015 and Cablevision Systems in June 2016, offered about 63.9 million shares to the public, raising about $1.9 billion.

The stock peaked at $32.74 each before closing at $32.71 per share on June 22.

Altice USA backers BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board were the biggest beneficiaries of the IPO, selling a combined 51 million shares in the offering. Altice USA sold about 12 million shares, the proceeds of which will be used to pay down bond debt incurred by Cablevision prior to its deal closing.

Wall Street expects Altice USA to use its new stock to purchase more cable companies, with many focusing on Cox Communications, despite the Atlanta-based company’s repeated insistence that it is not for sale.

Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told CNBC Thursday that he agreed Cox “is not for sale,” adding that is possible over the next three or four years that the public company could find opportunities to “buy other stuff.” However, that doesn’t appear to be a priority in the short-term.

“Our whole job is to be ready,” Goei told CNBC. “We’re ready. We’ll let things play out as they are over the next several years. We’re not in any hurry to do anything, we’ve got a lot of operational work to do, a lot of big, big projects on fiber to the home and our One Communications Hub. We’re not in any hurry but we need to be prepared. That’s really the reason why we went public."