Altice sells assets in France
Troubled telecommunications giant Altice, which owns Meo in Portugal, has been selling off non-core assets in a bid to calm investors.
However, analysts have said that the selloff operation will only act as a temporary bandaid given the €60Bn debt it owes to creditors.
The company, whose main shareholder is Patrick Drahi, advanced with the selloff of 70% of its data centre business at Altice France to Morgan Stanley.
The transaction, which is still waiting for the green light from regulators, buoyed the bonds market with the value of Altice bonds increasing, but given the sheer size of the company’s debt, it is likely to only be a temporary fix.
“It’s the first step, but a small one taking into account the current value of the company’s debt”, said Alberto Gesualdi, an analyst and partner in Ver Capital SGR when asked by business daily Negócios.
The analyst added that the transaction was “not enough by far” to calm bond holders, and that the situation at the French telecoms multinational was “critical” not just because of the owed, but also because of the company’s reputation and credibility in the market.
Another analyst, Johann Scavone from Spread Research told the newspaper that the sale was not enough to hold off the wolves because it wouldn’t significantly deleverage the business, but would “buy it some time”.
“It is under less pressure now to think (immediately) about another transaction, and will buy Altice time to restructure its operations towards cash flow profitability while selling off other assets, but is not a long term solution.”