Cablevision Ditches Buyout Plan - For Now

27 October 2005

The feuding Dolan family, which controls America's Cablevision Systems operation, has abandoned its attempt to take the firm private.

The New York area cable provider announced in June that it wanted to buy out its public shareholders in a $7.9 billion (€6.52bn; £4.42bn) stock and cash deal. It was planning to split the company in two and spin-off its TV programming and sports assets.

However, after months of negotiations with the board, the father and son team - chairman Charles and ceo James - issued a statement saying they could not reach a deal with the special transaction committee. It added that there had been a "decline in communications valuations and an increased competitive environment".

After withdrawing the offer, the family urged the Cablevision board to declare a $3bn special dividend - around $700 million of which would go to the family because of its 22% stake. This is still being considered.

The about-turn may be a sign of improving relations between Dolans major and minor, who fell out over Cablevision's ill-fated satellite TV service Voom [WAMN: 12-Apr-05].

The family has not commented beyond the statement.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff