Cablevision to be bought by European operator Altice

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Cablevision Headquarters / Wikipedia

BETHPAGE, NY —  European telecommunications and cable company Altice has agreed to buy cable operator Cablevision for $17.7 billion, including debt.

Netherlands-based Altice SA will pay $39.40 per share for Cablevision . The deal was announced Thursday morning.

According to the company, the deal will make Altice the fourth largest cable operator in the United States.

Cablevision operates cable systems in the Litchfield, Bridgeport and Stamford areas.

In a statement, Cablevision’s CEO James Dolan said the family will continue to own AMC Networks and The Madison Square Garden Company.

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.

The transaction will close in the first half of 2016.

Information from the Associated Press is included in this story.