Cablevision to Buttress Balance Sheet With Channels IPO

27 October 2003

The beady eyes of Wall Street are unblinkingly fixed on US TV giant Cablevision after it announced plans to meld several of its more popular channels with Voom, its nascent satellite TV venture [WAMN:17-Oct -03]. The intention is to vend the hived-off entity as an IPO early next year.

Founder/chairman Charles Dolan will move into the chair of the new venture, the vacant seat at Cablevision taken by his scion and current ceo James Dolan. The entrail-rakers, already über-sceptical over the Voom concept, are as unenthused by the familial musical chairs as by the proposed flotation.

As part of the spinoff, the channels will need to drum-up around $650 million (€551.32m; £383.30m) to repay debt currently held by Cablevision. They will also issue a $350m payment-in-kind preferred security to Cablevision.

And the deal may also hit a sandbank as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into accounting irregularities discovered earlier this year at certain Cablevision channels. SEC approval is required before the flotation can proceed.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff