S&P cuts Altice rating outlook to negative

Friday 24 November 2017 | 10:14 CET | News

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has revised its outlook for Altice from stable to negative, while affirming the 'B+' long-term credit rating for the group. The decision was motivated by Altice’s deteriorating growth prospects, as the company lowered its EBITDA guidance for 2017, primarily as a result of a weaker-than-expected performance in France. In this country, S&P now expects lower EBITDA growth in 2018, noting that Altice’s differentiation strategy has yet to prove its effectiveness.

The agency said that the negative outlook reflected the possibility of a downgrade in 2018 if the group failed to improve operations in France, timely and sufficiently cut debt, restore market confidence, or if management and governance concerns were unresolved.

Altice’s share price has fallen significantly since early November, when the group's third quarter results failed to convince investors. Following recent negative market speculation, its management has pledged to reduce debt by selling non-core assets as early as the first half of 2018.

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