NEW YORK: After many months of 'final offer' negotiations, shareholders in US cable services provider Cablevision Systems have agreed to a bid by the company's founders to take the business back into private hands.

The offer, valued at around $10.6 billion (€7.7bn; £5.3bn) is a 'third time lucky' result for the Dolan family, which has been seeking to take back control of the firm for two years [WARC News: 20-June-05].

However, before inking, the transaction must be approved by a majority of the holders of Cablevision's publicly traded stock not held by the Dolan dynasty.

Chairman Charles (pictured above) says the company will be stronger in today's "increasingly competitive environment" as a private concern.

Cablevision, with its New York customer base, is following in the wake of Cox Communications and Insight Communications, both of which have made similar moves.

In recent years all three companies have increased revenues and their ability to retain customers with 'triple play' offerings of digital video, high-speed web access and telephony services.

Industry analyst Craig Moffett says Cablevision is around two to three years ahead of its rivals in offering advanced services and is poised to reap significant rewards as investment costs decline.

Those significant rewards for the family include the possibility of an eventual multi-billion dollar sale to Time Warner Cable.

Data sourced from Business Week (daily); additional content by WARC staff