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Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board

MARK BLINCH/Reuters

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will receive about $1.16-billion (U.S.) in cash and promissory notes as its part of a deal that will see European telecom company Altice SA to buy a controlling stake in U.S. cable operator Suddenlink.

Altice, headquartered in Luxembourg and active in several European countries, has agreed to purchase a 70-per-cent stake in the company that owns Suddenlink from CPPIB and its partner, a fund advised by European private equity firm BC Partners.

The sellers will each keep a 12 per cent stake in Suddenlink's parent, Cequel Communications Holdings, and receive $960-million cash and a $200-million note for their portion of the deal, which requires U.S. regulatory approval.

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The transaction – expected to close by the end of the year – pegs Suddenlink's value at about $9.1-billion.

The CPPIB and its co-investors acquired Suddenlink in 2012 in a deal valued at $6.5-billion.

"This transaction is an excellent opportunity to realize a portion of the embedded value of CPPIB's original investment in Suddenlink," said Mark Jenkins, a senior managing director and global head of private investments at CPPIB.

"We are now looking forward to developing a long-term partnership with Altice, one of the largest global telecom companies."

The deal marks Altice's first U.S. acquisition..

It has grown through a series of acquisitions over the past dozen years, expanding from a small regional internet and cable provider in France's Alsace region to making a $18.5-billion acquisition last year of France's No. 2 mobile phone operator, SFR. Earlier this year, Altice also bought Portugal Telecom for $8.4-billion.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., Suddenlink offers television, high-speed Internet and telephone services to 1.5 million residential and commercial customers in several U.S. states.

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The CPPIB invests funds not currently required to pay benefits for the Canada Pension Plan. As of Dec. 31, 2014, the fund totalled $238.8-billion.

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