Altice already in talks with TWC, as Suddenlink's Kent confirms departure

Altice SA's lightning-quick entry into the U.S. cable market continued through Wednesday morning, with reports swirling that billionaire Patrick Drahi's French telecom group is already in talks to buy Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

The day began with Altice's announcement that it had reached a deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in mid-sized St. Louis-based cable operator Suddenlink, spending $9.1 billion.

Speaking to unnamed individuals close to the deal, Reuters reported that deal talks between Altice and TWC are "ongoing."

The news service quoted one individual as saying, "Altice is very keen on Time Warner Cable."

Backed by John Malone's Liberty Media, Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) has been widely seen as the favorite so far to step in and buy TWC following Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) decision to abandon its merger quest in April.

As news of Altice and Drahi's infiltration into the U.S. cable market broadened in scope Wednesday, Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent confirmed that he will step down by the end of the year.

"I'm an entrepreneur," Kent told Multichannel News. "I really don't have the desire to be working in a subsidiary of another company. And, frankly, they have their own CEO."

For more:
- read this Reuters story
- read this Multichannel News story

Related articles:
France's Altice buys controlling stake in Suddenlink for $9.1B, sets up possible TWC run
Charter and Bright House agree to move forward with original $10.4B merger deal
Charter's Rutledge: Merger with TWC would not 'meaningfully change' programming talks

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