By Maureen Farrell The Wall Street Journal
Start spreading the news. Patrick Drahi is officially a major player in the U.S. cable market.
The French entrepreneur’s run to the top echelon of the industry has been rapid. The cable company he controls, Altice NVATC.AE +0.68%, said Thursday it would buy Cablevision Systems Corp.CVC +14.79% for about $10 billion. If the deal closes, his firm would add a cable company that’s the fourth-largest in the U.S. and particularly strong in the New York metropolitan area.
Mr. Drahi has been a voracious deal maker. In just over 18 months, he has stitched together roughly $40 billion in deals in Europe, including one for SFR, France’s second-largest mobile company. He first pushed into the U.S. in a big way in May, when Altice announced a deal to buy Suddenlink Communications for $9.1 billion.
Cablevision’s stock is up 15% Thursday to hit $42.92, but is still about 6% below Altice’s $34.90 offer price.