Altice said to be coveting Charter

Several reports reckon French telco group Altice is considering making a bid for US cableco Charter Communications.

CNBC seems to have been the first to break the rumour but Reuters coincidentally dug up its own sources for the story soon after. Altice has been pretty pro-active in the US, buying Cablevision a year ago and IPO-ing its US arm recently. Buying Charter, however, would be a whole new order of magnitude.

According to the CNBC report Altice would need to find $200 billion to nab the second largest US cable operator. Another fan of mega M&A, Softbank, is apparently also having a look at Charter so this rumour could well be a trial balloon to see how the market responds to the prospect.

Charter shares haven’t really moved much and neither have those of Altice USA, which indicates investors are either neutral about the idea or they’re not taking the rumour seriously. Alternatively it could be a reflection of how unlikely the market thinks it would be for Altice to find the cash.

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