August 1, 2021

Patrick Drahi’s new jackpot

While the financial markets are worried about the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants, Patrick Drahi is rubbing his hands. The investment he made in Teads, this specialist in targeted advertising, bought by Altice in 2017 for 285 million euros, is more than paying off. The ex-start up, headquartered in Luxembourg, will soon be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, at a price of 18 to 21 dollars (15.3 to 17.8 euros) per share.

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The company, created by two French people, Pierre Chappaz and Bertrand Quesada, is valued between 3.5 billion and 5 billion dollars. Objective of the operation: to raise around 750 million dollars of some 38.5 million titles put on the market. For Teads owners, this is the jackpot. Altice International, which also owns the group’s Portuguese and Israeli telecoms activities, and owned by Patrick Drahi, will collect between 600 million and 700 million dollars alone.

Altice remains in control

Perhaps this sum will allow him to alleviate the 6 billion euros of debt which still weighs on his shoulders. Still on the board of Teads, Pierre Chappaz, he will receive between 31 million and 36 million dollars. As for his current boss, Bertrand Quesada, he will earn 11.4 million to 13 million dollars. A real tumble for the two entrepreneurs, who had united their destiny at the dawn of the 2010s.

At the time, Pierre Chappaz, who made himself known by creating the Kelkoo comparative engine in 1999, sold to Yahoo for 475 million euros in 2004, tries the adventure in the blogs with Overblog and Wikio. Bertrand Quesada, he cut his teeth in online advertising with Ebuzzing. A marriage that will take the name of Teads in 2014. The company then continues to grow through acquisitions and fundraising. Until reaching a certain maturity.

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In 2020, Teads, which presents itself as an alternative to Google and Facebook by selling video spaces to advertisers, generated a turnover of 458 million euros, a growth of only 5.2% in one year. But profitability jumped: ebitda (equivalent to gross operating income) reached 155 million euros, (+ 90% over twelve months). Despite this IPO, Altice remains more than master on board, and retains almost all of the voting rights. Patrick Drahi has also installed two of his children there: Graziella Drahi, 28, and David Drahi, 26, now sit on the board of directors.