Comcast Anticipates Cable Unit Talks with AT&T

02 August 2001

Cable TV operator Comcast Corporation yesterday revealed it hopes to enter negotiations with AT&T in the near future concerning its $40 billion offer, made last month, for the telecoms giant’s cable division [WAMN: 09-Jul-01].

AT&T rejected the bid as too small and invited rival offers, recently entering talks with AOL Time Warner [WAMN: 25-Jul-01]. The AT&T Broadband unit is America’s largest cable TV business, with AOL TW in second place and Comcast in third.

Comcast president Brian Roberts yesterday argued that his company’s bid amounted to $4000 for each AT&T subscriber, well ahead of the $3200–$3400 valuation made when AT&T gained the subscribers through the acquisition of TCI and MediaOne.

He added that Comcast’s bid was in the interests of AT&T shareholders – a reference to the substantial stake AOL TW would gain if its talks with AT&T led to a merger between the two.

The news came as Comcast posted a widening loss for the three months to the end of June, increasing from $31.6 million in Q2 2000 to $133.3m. However, the company stressed that the cash flow from operations had risen in the same period from $645.1m to $720.1m.

News source: Financial Times