Altice USA in Talks to Sell Cheddar News to Private Equity Firm Regent

Altice USA in Talks to Sell Cheddar News to Private Equity Firm Regent

February 21, 2024 : Altice USA, a major telecommunications and media conglomerate, is reportedly exploring the potential sale of its financial news streaming platform, Cheddar News, to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Regent, according to sources familiar with the matter. This move, if finalized, would mark yet another divestiture for Altice USA as it seeks to streamline its operations and focus on core business segments.

Negotiations between Altice USA and Regent are ongoing, and no definitive agreement has been reached. However, sources indicate that discussions center around various transaction formats, including the possibility of a cashless deal where Altice USA retains a stake in Cheddar News’ future performance through an “earn-out” agreement. This structure would reward Altice USA with additional proceeds based on Cheddar News’ future financial achievements.

Altice USA acquired Cheddar News in 2019 for $200 million, aiming to cater to millennial audiences with its bite-sized, mobile-first approach to financial news. However, the platform has faced stiff competition from established giants like CNBC and Bloomberg and newer entrants like The Information. Additionally, Altice USA has been grappling with debt and is focusing its resources on its core broadband and telecommunications businesses.

While selling Cheddar News would generate immediate cash and allow Altice USA to reduce its debt burden, the potential impact on its long-term strategy remains to be seen. Some analysts believe divesting niche assets like Cheddar News could improve financial health and strategic clarity. Others caution that such decisions could compromise the company’s ability to innovate and cater to diverse audiences in the competitive media landscape.

Ultimately, the outcome of the negotiations with Regent and the potential sale of Cheddar News hinge on both parties reaching mutually beneficial terms. Regardless of the outcome, this development highlights the ongoing shifts within the media industry, where consolidation and divestitures shape the competitive landscape.