August 10, 2017 / 6:48 AM / 7 days ago

Altice raises stake in SFR and plans full buyout offer

People walk under the logo of French telecoms operator SFR in Paris, France, August 8, 2016.Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - Altice, the acquisitive telecoms and cable group founded by billionaire Patrick Drahi, has raised its stake in telecoms company SFR to more than 95 percent and is planning a full buyout offer for the remaining shares.

Altice said in a statement on Thursday that it planned to offer 34.50 euros per share to squeeze out the remaining minority shareholders. The stock closed at 31.45 euros on Aug 9.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Altice and its U.S. cable unit were in the early stages of working on an offer to buy Charter Communications Inc.

A deal for Charter would allow Drahi to advance his business model in the United States. He made his fortune through debt-fueled acquisitions swiftly followed by cost cutting to boost profits.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely

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