Report says Dolan's Cablevision may be approached by private equity players

December 14
5:50 AM 2013

Cablevision could soon be the target for cable mergers, the New York Post reported. Citing sources, the report said the Bethpage, New York-based company may soon have interested firms knocking on its doors. Cablevision is controlled by the Dolan family.

Charter Communications is reportedly preparing a $135 per share-offer for Gotham City-based Time Warner Cable or TWC, a neighbor of Cablevision. The report, which cited sources, said Cablevision may be wooed by private equity firms who are eager to back a bid for pieces of TWC.

Cablevision, which was founded by Charles Dolan and run by his son Jim, is not likely to rush into consolidation, the report said. Sources said the owners will still want to see the effects of John Malone's cable roll-up, particularly if Charter will succeed in acquiring TWC. Liberty Media of billionaire John Malone holds a 27% stake in Charter. The report added that Comcast is also circling TWC which boasts of a subscriber base of 12 million.

In an interesting turn of events, AMC Networks which is also backed by the Dolan family, just bought Chellomedia, a global programming firm. According to the report, the acquisition price for the deal was $1 billion and the seller was Liberty Global, the international arm of Malone's firm. The report said Malone has spoken in support of cable mergers.

The New York Post said Charter is set to start the acquisition process next week. Tom Rutledge, a former executive of Cablevision, heads Charter.  

Bloomberg first reported that Charter Communications is said to be preparing an offer letter for the acquisition of Time Warner Cable, offering cash and stock for the deal. The news website interviewed Denver-based Wunderlich Securities Inc Analyst Matthew Harrigan, who said Charter could potentially generate up to $1 billion in annual cost savings by reducing overhead and entering into better programming deals.

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