European operator Altice to buy Cablevision

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, file photo, Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan delivers remarks during ceremonies at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden, in New York. European telecommunications and cable company Altice has agreed to buy New York cable operator Cablevision, owned by the Dolan family, for $17.7 billion, including debt, the companies announced Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, file photo, Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan delivers remarks during ceremonies at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden, in New York. European telecommunications and cable company Altice has agreed to buy New York cable operator Cablevision, owned by the Dolan family, for $17.7 billion, including debt, the companies announced Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (9/17/15)

BETHPAGE, N.Y. - European telecommunications and cable company Altice has agreed to buy cable operator Cablevision.

Netherlands-based Altice SA will pay $34.90 per share for Cablevision, according to a statement released by Cablevision Thursday morning.

"Since Charles Dolan founded Cablevision in 1973, the Dolan family has been honored to help shepherd our customers and employees through the most extraordinary communications revolution in modern history," the Dolan family, owners of Cablevision, said in a statement. "Now, nearly half a century later, the time is right for new ownership of Cablevision and its considerable assets. We believe that Patrick Drahi and Altice will be truly worthy successors, and we look forward to doing all we can to affect this transition for our customers and employees. We expect that Cablevision will be in excellent hands."

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016, subject to regulatory and other customary approvals. 

Shares of Cablevision Systems Corp. jumped 16 percent to $33.12 in after-hours trading Wednesday.

Altice has announced a string of purchases this year, including a 70 percent stake in St. Louis-based Suddenlink that valued the company at $9.1 billion.

Cablevision is the parent company of News 12 Networks.

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