Cablevision Systems, America's fifth largest cable operator, jumped Tuesday into the Adelphia piranha pool. Not, as had been widely forecast [WAMN: 30-Mar-05], alongside the KKR/PEP consortium - but with a solo bid backed by Merrill Lynch and J P Morgan Chase & Co.

The move is all the more surprising given the internecine Dolan family feud within Cablevision, with father (chairman, Charles) eyeballing son (chief executive, James) over the future of the group's ailing satellite business Voom [WAMN: 16-Mar-05].

The Adelphia bid is led by poppa Charles - whether with or without the support of sprig James is unknown. Cablevision has a market capitalization of $8.5 billion and debt of about $9 billion with sparse cash in hand.

A solo acquisition is entirely feasible, according to a Cablevision mole. The group could finance the deal without even writing an equity check, claims the informant, funding the purchase from the aggregated cash flow of the merged companies.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff