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Dolans Try the Privacy Route - Again

Cablevision Rulers Hope Holders Go For Simpler Deal

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By Mike Farrell
10/16/2006

Cablevision Systems' ruling Dolan family, hoping the second time's a charm, have put together a $19.2 billion proposal to take the fifth-largest U.S. cable operator and all of its subsidiaries private.

The Dolans' June 2005 attempt to remove Cablevision from the ranks of the publicly traded failed after a special shareholder's committee determined its offer price was too low. The Dolans hope that this time, a simpler deal will make all the difference.

On Oct. 8, Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan and his son CEO James Dolan sent a letter to the cable company's board of directors, outlining a plan by which the Dolan family - which controls 22.5% of Cablevision's outstanding stock and 74% of shareholder votes - would buy the remaining shares in the company for $27 each.

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( The entire article is at the following source: http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6381120.html )
 

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Who's Gone Private...

(Cablevision is the third cable company in the past two years to attempt going private.)

Cox Communications: Cox Enterprises, which owned 62% of the outstanding shares in the cable company, proposed in August 2004 to buy the remaining shares it did not own for $32 per share, or about $7.9 billion. After some wrangling with its board of directors, CEI upped its price to $34.75 per share, or about $8.5 billion. The deal closed on Dec. 14, 2004.

Insight Communications: Insight chairman Sidney Knafel and CEO Michael Willner joined forces with private equity firm The Carlyle Group in March 2005, launching a $650 million bid to buy the 86% of Insight's outstanding shares they did not already own for $10.70 each The group raised its price to $710 million ($11.75 per share) in July and the deal closed on Dec. 16, 2005.

...Who Might Follow

(Two other MSOs are subject of "going private" speculation)

Mediacom Communications: Controlled by chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso - he owns all of Mediacom's Class B super-voting shares, giving him 77% voting power - Mediacom has been widely speculated to be the most likely candidate to go private, although giving no indication it might do so. Some estimate Mediacom could be taken private for $500 million, but its rural footprint and lack of a clear exit strategy could scare off private-equity buyers.

Charter Communications: Controlled by chairman Paul Allen - with 49% of outstanding equity and 90% voting power - Charter's low stock price has long fueled speculation that Allen could take the company private. But his already huge personal investment in the company, estimated at about $7 billion, and an industry-leading debt load ($19.5 billion, or 10 times cash flow), make it unlikely that he would be willing to commit more cash to take the company private

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( From the same source (see above post) .... or: http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6381120.html ))
 

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it's interesting that a certain satellite company isn't listed there under "who might follow" with all the rumors that have been floating around for ages. With Charlie also controlling 90% of the votes it would be very easy for him to go there (assuming he could put together the needed $$$).
 
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