France's Altice USA rallies in New York market debut


New York (AFP)

Altice USA shares rallied Thursday in their New York market debut after the telecom group controlled by French billionaire Patrick Drahi raised some $1.9 billion in an initial public offering.

Shares traded up 5.6 percent at $31.69 in early exchanges on Wall Street.

Altice USA priced some 63.9 million shares at $30 in the biggest telecom IPO since the dotcom collapse in 2000.

The IPO is part of a US offensive by Drahi and Altice, which operates cable and broadband in 21 US states and competes against American rivals such as Verizon and Comcast.

Altice is investing in fiber-optic connections and plans to introduce a new kind of cable box for the US market, and is expected to seek additional expansion in the United States.

In France, Drahi's holdings include the country's second-largest mobile operator SFR, as well as media groups Liberation, i24News, BFM and RMC.