Drahi’s Bid to Take Altice Private Gets Investor Complaint

Hedge fund Lucerne Capital, an investor in Altice Europe NV, has raised objections to billionaire Patrick Drahi’s plan to take the company private, saying his offer undervalues the company.

Altice’s founder and largest shareholder made an offer Sept. 11 to pay 4.11 euros a share through his Next Private vehicle, valuing the entire company at 4.9 billion euros ($5.8 billion). That represented a 24% premium over the previous day’s closing price.

The offer represents a “significant discount” to the shares, and is designed to squeeze out minority investors, the hedge fund wrote in a letter to the French telecommunications company’s board Thursday.

The telecom's debt load has stoked price volatility

Lucerne Capital, founded in 2000, said it represents funds owning about 94 million euros of Altice Europe shares.

A representative for Altice was unable to provide immediate comment.

“Mr. Drahi is using the temporary lull in the share price, caused by Covid-19, to unlock the huge upside in

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