Altice USA announced late yesterday that it has agreed to sell 49.99% of the Lightpath Fiber Enterprise Business to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, a move designed to retain control of the business while gaining money for investment in “growth initiatives.”
Altice USA is the fourth-largest US cable company. The company was formed in 2015 as a unit of a European cable company through the purchase of regional US cable company Suddenlink but was subsequently spun off. Along the way, the company acquired Cablevision/Optimum, a cable and business services provider based in the New York City metropolitan area.
The Lightpath fiber enterprise business includes operations in the New York metro area.
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is a global infrastructure investment “platform” that targets assets “that provide essential services with the potential for value creation through active asset management,” a press release about the Morgan Stanley Lightpath transaction notes.
A visit to the Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners website reveals investments in water and power companies, as well as a few telecom infrastructure companies, including one in Mexico and another in Portugal.
The Morgan Stanley Lightpath deal is expected to close next quarter and “implies” an enterprise value of $3.2 billion, according to the transaction press release.
In the press release, Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said bringing in a strategic investor “allows Altice USA to focus on operating our core businesses while infusing the capital needed to grow Lightpath and maximize shareholder value.”
Lightpath has over 11,400 buildings connected to its fiber network, which spans more than 8,800 route miles, including approximately 600,000 miles of fiber throughout the New York metropolitan area, the press release notes.