Altice has simplified its operating structure into two distinct European and US businesses, with founder Patrick Drahi promising a “close personal involvement” as the company looks to get back on track.

The US arm has been spun off from the rest of the Altice group, which owned 67.2 percent of its American sister company, and will continue to be led by Dexter Goei.

As part of this separation €1.26 billion ($1.5 billion) will be returned to shareholders, with €900 million going to Altice Europe.

The European arm will use €625 million of this dividend to reduce its debt pile and will also reorganise itself into three new divisions – France, International and Pay TV.

Altice Europe will continue to be led by Dennis Okhuijsen.

One major change sees Altice France become a wholesale customer of the Pay TV division, which manages a range of content services including exclusive sports rights.

The company said this would allow investors “to better assess the underlying performance of Altice France compared to its competitors”.

Drahi will serve President of the Board of Altice Europe and Chairman of the Board of Altice USA.

Altice said the move created “a more simplified, independent and more focused” business.

The changes come two months after investors expressed concern about the operator’s strategy and increasing debt, a declining share price and the departure of CEO Michel Combes.

Altice said it was still looking to sell off its tower portfolio and its operations in the Dominican Republic.

Drahi said: “The separation will allow both Altice Europe and Altice USA to focus on their respective operations and execute against their strategies, deliver value for shareholders, and realise their full potential.

“Both operations will have the fundamental Altice Model at their heart through my close personal involvement as well as that of the historic founding team.

“Altice Europe has tremendous opportunities as we deliver on our operational aspirations around much improved customer service and monetising our premium infrastructure and content assets.

“Altice Europe has a unique asset base that is fully converged and fibre rich with strong number one or number two position in each market with nationwide fixed and mobile coverage.

“At the core of our strategy is the operational and financial turnaround in France and Portugal.

“In parallel, we have a clear plan to further strengthen our long-term balance sheet position as we execute our non-core asset disposals.”

Read more: Altice begins debt reduction efforts with Green sell offs

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