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Altice USA launches IPO

Shares of Altice USA Inc. traded higher in their market debut Thursday, a day after the cable operator raised more money in its initial public offering than any other US -listed telecom since 2000.Altice is said to be keen on using the money it has raised to support further takeover activity in the United States market following the acquisitions of Cablevision Systems Corp.Altice USA shares trade under the ticker “ATUS”.When launching the IPO last week, Altice had listed about 46.6 million shares of its Class A common stock priced at $27 to $31 per share.Most sizeable cable companies are already public.After the IPO, Altice owns 70.3 percent of Altice USA’s common stock, representing 98.3 percent of the voting power.With most of the shares being provided by BC Partners funds and CCPIB, Altice USA itself is selling a relatively small proportion of its stock in the face of strong demand.Altice is the second cable IPO this year. The increase comes entirely from selling shareholders, who are now selling 51.9 million shares, compared with last month’s plan to sell 34.5 million shares.JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc are joint bookrunners on the IPO.At the stock exchange in lower Manhattan, Altice founder Patrick Drahi rang the bell to open the market at 9:30 AM on Thursday.