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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Altice plans $1 billion share sale as European cable sector booms, (NASDAQ: LBTYA)

Altice, which owns French and Belgian cable companies and mobile operations in Israel, plans to list its shares on Amsterdam's NYSE Euronext with the aim of raising 750 million euros ($1 billion) to cut debt.The company, founded by entrepreneur Patrick Drahi and built via a decade of acquisitions, is seeking to surf a wave of investor interest in the European cable sector as consumers increasingly turn to these companies for television and high-speed broadband at faster speeds and lower prices than from telecom companies.That in turn has pushed cable valuations higher and created several takeover targets for telecom rivals. French cable operator Numericable, which is 40 percent owned by Altice, has seen its shares rise 10 percent since it went public in November. European cable leader Liberty Global is seeking to purchase the 71.5 percent of Dutch player Ziggo that it does not already own.The Altice listing also builds on growing confidence about initial public offerings (IPO) in Europe - a flurry last year more than doubled volumes to $34.9 billion - and global equity fundraising in general, which is having a resurgence as confidence in the economy improves.

Shares of LBTYA traded higher by 1.56% or $1.38/share to $89.98. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $62.71 and as high as $90.19. On average, 1656750 shares of LBTYA exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1327687.