Altice issues €500M in securities
Cash strapped Altice International, currently embroiled in a police investigation in Portugal over alleged damaging contracts, is testing the water by issuing €500 million in securities.
The securities in the form of bonds will mature in four years at a cost in interest to Altice running to double figures. It is the first test of the market since police swooped on its Lisbon offices in July in Operation Picoas.
The operation has been delving into deals involving Altice and has conceded that the Portuguese State has been harmed by more than €100 million.
The case has four suspects: Armando Pereira, Hernâni Vaz Antunes, Jéssica Antunes and Álvaro Gil Loureiro, who were detained for more than a week on suspicion of corruption, tax fraud and money laundering.
Its former CEO Alexandre Fonseca, who suspended all functions at the company pending investigations, was spotted last week by Essential Business at a major IT conference in Estoril where he kept a low and discreet profile.
The securities issue of €500 million is to pay debts that have to be paid by 2025 and is the first market test of confidence since Altice Co-Founder Armando Pereira was arrested and quizzed by judicial police. Altice has €4Bn of debt to repay by 2026.
According to the Financial Times, Altice is offering investors a 5% bonus on a variable benchmark rate, and a price of 96% for bonds that mature in four years.
The Altice group, which is controlled by the magnate Patrick Drahi, is under pressure from investors because of its amount of debt which stands at €55Bn. Both Altice France and Altice International will have to pay €4Bn of debt by 2026.
In order to do that, Altice is looking at several options including bringing new investors on board at both Altice France and Altice Portugal as well as selling off non-strategic assets such as its data centre in Covilhã.