Altice USA taps out on bid to acquire Cogeco

Altice USA and Rogers Communications are moving on from their attempts to buy Cogeco after a deadline expires on Wednesday. (Pixabay)

With the clock expiring Wednesday on its $8.4 billion offer to buy Cogeco, Altice USA has tapped out.

In September, Altice USA first offered to buy Cogeco (CGO) and Cogeco Communications from Rogers Communications, which owns a 41% share in the former and 33% of the latter, and members of the Audet family that own Cogeco.

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Under the terms of that complex deal proposed by Altice USA, it would have taken control of Atlantic Broadband, which Cogeco bought from Arby Partners for $1.36 billion in 2012, and then in a separate deal, sell-off the remaining Canadian Cogeco assets to Rogers Communications. Rogers is Cogeco’s largest long-term shareholder.

The Audet family spurned that offer, and a subsequent, better offer that was made last month. Gestion Audem, which is the company controlled by members of the Audet family that holds 69% of all voting rights of Cogeco, rejected the offers. Louis Audet is the president of Gestion Audem.

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The Audet family was firm in its refusal to sell, and has said its focused on building out services within its own footprint. Last month, Cogeco Connexion, a subsidiary of Cogeco, it was buying DERYtelecom for $405 million. Both Cogeco and DERYtelecom are based in the province of Quebec, which meant DERYtelecom's network assets were a good fit for Cogeco.

Rogers and Altice both said they're no longer interested in pursuing a deal for Cogeco.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the ability to engage with either the Audet family or the Cogeco boards on what is a terrific offer, a highly valued offer,” Rogers CEO Joe Natale said Wednesday at an industry conference, according to a story by Bloomberg.

Natale also said Rogers wouldn't rule out expanding its operations in Quebec, where it has done business for 35 years. Rogers previously said it would invest $3 billion (Canadian) in Quebec's telecom networks if its attempt to take over Cogeco was successful.

After Wednesday's deadline passed, Altice USA stuck a fork into its attempts to buy and divide up Cogeco with Rogers.

"Our offer to acquire Cogeco in order to own Atlantic Broadband has expired and we do not intend to extend it," said Altice USA in a statement. "We remain committed to our growth strategy and continue to focus on opportunities to drive value for our shareholders."