Altice USA Officially Abandons Cogeco Bid

Altice USA
(Image credit: Altice USA)

Altice USA officially threw in the towel in its months-long pursuit of Cogeco Communications, saying Wednesday that it will not pursue its bid for the Canadian telecom company.

Altice USA joined with Canadian telecom giant Rogers Communications on Sept. 2 to launch a $7.8 billion bid for Cogeco.  As part of the deal, Altice would pay about $3.6 billion for Cogeco’s U.S. cable assets (Atlantic Broadband) while Rogers would pay $4.2 billion for Cogeco’s Canadian telecom businesses. That offer was rejected by Cogeco’s controlling shareholder -- Gestion Audem -- but Altice sweetened its bid on Oct. 19, increasing its price for Atlantic Broadband to $3.9 billion. While that bid was also rejected, Altice said it would give the company until Nov. 18 to officially answer. 

Related: Altice and Cogeco: He’s Just Not That Into You 

Altice USA had held out little hope of a deal materializing after the second rejection, but kept its fingers crossed. But with no deal in sight, on Nov. 18, Altice USA officially called off its pursuit. 

“Our offer to acquire Cogeco in order to own Atlantic Broadband has expired and we do not intend to extend it,” Altice USA said in a statement. “We remain committed to our growth strategy and continue to focus on opportunities to drive value for our shareholders.”

That includes continuing to look at both organic and M&A opportunities to grow the footprint. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Rogers CEO Joe Natale said at an industry conference that he was disappointed that he never got to negotiate with Gestion Audem’s ruling Audet family. He added that he still believes the deal would have been good for both companies.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the ability to engage with either the Audet family or the Cogeco boards on what is a terrific offer, a highly valued offer,” Rogers CEO Joe Natale said at the RBC Capital Markets Global Technology, Internet, Media and Telecommunications Virtual Conference. “But it just wasn’t meant to be, there wasn’t the appetite to follow through or pursue it on their part.” 

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.