| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 23 Altice USA, the cable operator
that arose from Netherlands-based Altice NV's
acquisitions of Cablevision Systems Corp and Suddenlink
Communications, is exploring ways to enter the wireless business
as rival cable companies prepare their own mobile services, its
chief executive said.
"We are having discussions on lots of different types of
alternatives out there," Dexter Goei, chief executive of Altice
USA, told reporters on Monday in remarks that were embargoed
Altice completed its $17.7 billion acquisition of
Cablevision last June and bought Suddenlink for $9.1 billion in
Altice has 4.9 million U.S. customers but is still only the
fourth-biggest U.S. cable provider.
Earlier this month, cable providers Comcast Corp
and Charter Communications Inc announced an agreement
that would enable them to cut costs and share technology
expertise to speed entry into the wireless business.
Comcast has launched its Xfinity Mobile service using
Verizon Communications Inc's airwaves in hopes of
boosting customer loyalty by bundling more offerings. Charter
has said it will introduce its own service next year.
Goei called the partnership between the two companies
"interesting and innovative," adding, "we're clearly not the
types of people to sit back and watch."
Asked whether his company would consider joining the
Comcast-Charter alliance, he said, "I don't think there is a
necessity for us to join anything today."
Asked about Altice USA's future ambitions, he said, "Part of
our core strategy and DNA is to continue to look at
acquisitions." He declined to give details on specific
In April, Altice USA filed for an initial public offering
that seeks to raise $1 billon to $2 billion, a source familiar
with the matter told Reuters. Going public allows
Altice's founder, French billionaire Patrick Drahi, to expand
his budding U.S. cable empire by giving Altice USA public stock
it can use to help finance more acquisitions.
Altice USA's parent company said on Tuesday it plans to
rebrand Optimum, formerly known as Cablevision, and Suddenlink,
as well as most of the other businesses under its umbrella, as
Altice by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)