Drs P. schreef op 19 nov 2017 om 18:04:
“Today is not the time for excuses and explaining. It is the time for acts and facts,” Mr Drahi told an investor conference organised by Morgan Stanley in Barcelona in a rare mea culpa, admitting that SFR has suffered from a lack of focus, operational problems and poor customer services.
But investors were not all convinced, having heard similar promises in the past. Analysts worry about a business model seen as reliant on growth through debt-fuelled acquisitions, and needing support from a strong share price.
Rivals suggest that Mr Drahi has been backed into a corner, with Altice’s reduced stock market valuation making further ambitious M&A increasingly difficult.
“It’s a bit like saying I’m not going to drive my car because there’s no gas in it,” says an executive at a French rival. “Obviously Drahi can’t do acquisitions.”
But acquisitions are what Mr Drahi is best known for. The seasoned dealmaker has bought more than 30 companies in the past 15 years as Altice evolved from a project to roll up French cable assets into a burgeoning media empire.
In 2014, Altice acquired SFR, which still accounts for almost half of its revenues. More recently, it has turned its sights on the US, spending $27bn on the acquisitions of Suddenlink Communications and Cablevision before floating a stake in the combined business this summer.
This dealmaking has left Altice saddled with about €51bn of debt, much larger than the company’s €15bn market capitalisation and more than five times its earnings before interest, taxes, amortisation and depreciation. Investors want to see that Altice can manage the businesses that it has expensively assembled — particularly in France, its largest market.