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French telecom giant Altice weighing bid for Charter in what could be $200 billion deal

You can add Altice to the growing list of companies trying to figure out a way to buy Charter Communciations.

The French telecom giant and its U.S. cable subsidiary, Altice USA, are working on an offer to buy Charter, but have not yet brought a purchase proposal to Charter or its advisors, according to people close to the situation. There's no guarantee that Altice will engage, though the prospects seem likely.

Altice and its founder Patrick Drahi have long had ambitions to expand in the U.S., and with SoftBank's recent interest in making an offer to buy Charter, Drahi has decided to see if he can compete.

Altice has bankers and lawyers working on a bid for Charter. But like SoftBank, it faces significant hurdles in crafting a deal that would meet shareholders' expectations on price while not being replete with the stock of the acquiring company, which in this case would be the far smaller Altice USA.

As CNBC reported two weeks ago, SoftBank has also been working on structuring an...