(Bloomberg) -- Altice International has shelved plans to sell assets in the Dominican Republic as the company continues to explore ways to cut debt. 

Offers received for Altice Dominicana were too low and it doesn’t need to sell anything at a discounted value, group Treasurer Gerrit Jan Bakker said on a call discussing first quarter results on Tuesday. 

Altice International is one of three silos of billionaire Patrick Drahi’s heavily indebted telecommunications empire, and it has assets in Portugal, Israel and the Dominican Republic.

S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company’s credit rating this month one notch to B-, six steps into junk territory, following weaker-than-expected results last year, in part due to the Israel-Hamas war. The ratings firm said the depreciation of the Dominican peso and Israeli shekel also contributed to the downgrade, and gave Altice International a negative outlook. 

Altice International has put many assets up for sale to reduce debt. The company is in the process of selling Altice Portugal, the unit at the center of a corruption investigation involving Armando Pereira, co-founder of Altice and Drahi’s right-hand before his 2023 arrest, as well as online video advertising company Teads. Its Israeli business, Hot, is not for sale, management said on the call. 

Proceeds from the sale of Portugal and Teads, if completed, will be used to cut leverage, management said on the call. Bonds of Altice International due in August 2029 rose 3.8 cents on the euro to 76.5 cents on Tuesday after the company’s earnings call, the most in two months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Debt Pile

Altice International has a smaller debt pile than the two other silos, Altice France and Altice USA. Total debt was €9.2 billion ($10 billion) at the end of the first quarter, the company said in a statement. Its leverage is 5 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Altice International said. The company reiterated its target to cut that indicator to 4 to 4.5 times this year. 

It paid a €390 million dividend to Altice Luxembourg, and management said during the call that the figure is consistent with its performance and its targeted leverage range. 

The rest of Drahi’s empire is also bracing for changes. Altice France told creditors in March they need to take a haircut for the company to reach its leverage target, while Altice USA is working with investment bank Moelis & Co. to assess options to manage its $25 billion debt pile, Bloomberg News reported this month. 

Altice disclosed this month that it had designated a series of subsidiaries as “unrestricted,” Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar who asked not to be identified because the disclosures were private. 

Unused Subsidiaries 

While it wasn’t clear what assets received the designation, the move spooked investors as it’s typically the first step to raising new money in deals that may hurt creditors.

Management said on the call they were unused subsidiaries that were moved from Altice International and sold to Altice France as unrestricted entities. 

(Updates to include bonds’ move in sixth paragraph.)

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