August 9, 2017 / 2:39 PM / in a year

France's Altice weighing takeover offer for Charter -CNBC

Aug 9 (Reuters) - French telecom giant Altice NV and its U.S. cable unit are working on an offer to buy Charter Communications Inc but are yet to submit a proposal, CNBC reported, citing people close to the situation.

Shares of Charter Communications were up 1 percent at $393.50, while those of Altice USA Inc were marginally lower at $30.93.

With $60 billion in debt and an expected purchase price of about $500 per share or more, Charter's enterprise value may be about $200 billion, CNBC reported.

Altice USA has a market capitalization of about $23 billion as of Tuesday's close, much smaller than Charter's $116 billion, according to Reuters data.

The French telecom company faces significant hurdles in crafting a deal that will meet shareholders' expectations on price, CNBC added.

Altice USA's IPO in June was viewed as a means for its founder, Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, to expand his U.S. cable empire by giving the company public stock it can use as currency for new acquisitions.

Reuters reported last month that Japan's SoftBank Group Corp was also considering making a bid for Charter as soon as August end.

Altice and Charter declined to comment, while Altice USA was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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