CPPIB and BC Partners back Cablevision acquisition

The pair, alongside co-investors, will commit $1bn to Altice’s proposed purchase of the cable operator.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and BC Partners, along with co-investors, are committing a total of about $1 billion to multinational cable and telecommunications company Altice’s proposed acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corporation, according to a joint press release from CPPIB and BC Partners.

The pair have committed to around 30 percent of the equity in Altice’s proposed acquisition of the US cable operator, each contributing around $400 million, or 12 percent each, with the rest funded by co-investors.

BC Partners is funding the transaction using capital from its 2011-vintage, €6.7 billion BC European Capital IX (BCEC IX), to which CPPIB committed capital.

In May CPPIB and BCEC IX announced plans to sell a 70 percent stake in Cequel Communications Holdings, of which US cable operator Suddenlink is a subsidiary, to Altice. In acquiring a stake in Cablevision, CPPIB and BCEC IX are exercising their option to participate in the deal pro rata as part of the Suddenlink sale agreement.

Altice’s proposal was announced on 17 September and is fully funded, based on the recent Cablevision debt financing and the Altice equity issuance, according to Altice.

“We are pleased to further expand our relationship with Altice, a best-in-class cable operator, and BC Partners, a longstanding fund partner,” CPPIB head of direct private equity Shane Feeney said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2016.

On the same day, CPPIB announced that it has opened a new office in Mumbai to seek investment opportunities in India. CPPIB has committed over $2 billion to investments in India to date.

CPPIB manages C$268.6 billion ($217.37 billion; €195.89 billion) in assets and allocates 21.19 percent to private equity.

At press time Cablevision’s shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange at $32.88 per share, up 33 cents or 1.03 percent from the previous close, giving the company a market capitalisation of $11.85 billion.