France's Altice USA rallies in New York market debut

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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.