Altice USA in talks to sell Cheddar News to private equity firm Regent

Altice USA is in talks to sell the financial news streaming service Cheddar News to LA-based private equity firm Regent LP, according to people familiar with the matter.

No deal is assured and discussions around structure are still fluid, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.

In one iteration of a potential transaction, Altice USA and Regent have discussed a deal where no money will initially exchange hands, one of the people said. Instead, Altice USA would participate in Cheddar’s future performance as part of a so-called “earn out” structure. If Cheddar meets certain performance targets, Altice USA would collect proceeds in future years that could amount to about $50 million based on internal projections, the person said.

Cheddar was founded in 2016 by Jon Steinberg, who built the company as a business news streaming service aimed at millennials. Altice USA acquired Cheddar for $200 million in 2019. At the time, CEO Dexter Goei told CNBC he made the deal because he was impressed with Steinberg’s ability to grow the business and its advertising revenue. Steinberg stayed with Altice USA through the deal before departing the company in early 2022. Goei stepped down as Altice USA’s CEO later that year.

Since then, Altice USA, the fourth-largest U.S. cable provider, behind ComcastCharter and Cox, has looked to shed assets as its stock price has plummeted. Shares have fallen nearly 60% this year amid profit and revenue declines driven by high-speed broadband losses. Altice USA has also considered selling U.S. cable asset Suddenlink but dropped those plans in late 2022.

Regent specializes in transactions with “creative and legal structures combined with pragmatic seller friendly contractual terms,” according to its website. The private equity fund has experience owning and operating assets in the media sector, acquiring publishing company Sightline Media Group from Tegna in 2016 and Sunset Magazine from Time Inc. in 2017. Regent makes investments in many sectors and acquired the Club Monaco brand from Ralph Lauren in 2021.

A representative from Altice USA declined to comment. Regent didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The New York Times reported Altice USA was considering selling Cheddar earlier this year.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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