Source: Cablevision, Charter Bid for Bresnan

By Beacon Staff

PHILADELPHIA – Some of the nation’s largest cable companies are interested in buying Bresnan Communications, a mid-sized cable company operating in the West, a person familiar with the talks said.

The bidders include Cablevision Systems Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. Time Warner Cable Inc., based in New York, also put in a bid, but its offer did not survive the first round. The three are among the five largest U.S. cable companies.

Other bidders include Ascent Media Corp., a media services holding company in which media mogul John Malone has 30 percent voting control, cable company Suddenlink Communications and private investment firm TPG Capital.

The person was not authorized to comment publicly because the bidding is private, and asked not to be identified.

The bids range from $1.3 billion to around $1.7 billion.

The person said Providence Equity Partners, Bresnan’s majority owner, is seeking to cash in on its investment after owning the cable company since 2003.

Cablevision, Charter, Time Warner Cable and TPG Capital declined to comment. Providence, Ascent and Suddenlink did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cable systems operated by Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp., which owns 30 percent of Bresnan, abut the areas served by Bresnan. Bresnan, based in Purchase, N.Y., has more than 320,000 customers in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.

Privately held Bresnan ranks 17th among the largest subscription TV providers, which spans cable, satellite TV and phone companies that offer video, according to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.

Cable pioneer Bill Bresnan, the founder of Bresnan Communications, died last year.

Shares of Cablevision, based in Bethpage, N.Y., rose 73 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $22.88 in afternoon trading. Charter, in St. Louis, was unchanged at $34.52. Time Warner Cable rose by $1.69 to $52.29. Comcast, based in Philadelphia, added 58 cents to $18.

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