Late Breaking News
Shareholders Seek Board Seats
Shareholders of Adelphia Communications’ Series B preferred stock sent a letter to the cable operator’s management and board last week, claiming that they can place two new members on Adelphia’s board of directors. Due to voting triggers contained within the stock purchase agreement, these shareholders say they have the right to immediately place Arthur Amron, principal and general counsel of Wexford Capital, and Talton Embry, managing director of Magten Asset Management, on the board. Adelphia’s bond defaults, among other things, triggered this right. Adelphia is evaluating the request to determine whether the voting right has been triggered, whether it has been properly exercised and whether the right can be exercised under bankruptcy protection. “Adelphia will consider the current request from the Series B preferred shareholders within the context of current policies, and as part of Adelphia’s overall search for new and truly independent board members,” a company statement said.
Charter Shares Jump Again
Charter Communications is getting its debt house in order. The company announced on Friday that it’s going to raise $1.7 billion in the bond market to refinance older debt. Analysts and investors were thrilled; the news sent Charter shares to their highest levels in more than a year. “We have been waiting for just such an announcement for quite a while, and now that it has happened we are increasing our fair value for the company’s shares from 57 cents to $6.04, or 12.0x estimated 2003 EBITDA and 10.6x our estimated 2004 EBITDA,” wrote Robert Routh, an analyst with Natexis Bleichroeder. “Our previous incredibly low fair value was based on the company being overleveraged and the uncertainty that it would be able to refinance its massive debt. In short, we are now turning positive on the story.” Charter shares closed Friday at $4.90.
Addenda and Corrections
AOL Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons told Reuters that while still committed to an IPO for Time Warner Cable at the end of this year, the company is not bound to the sale as it has other avenues to reduce its debt…. Liberty Media will use stock valued at $2 billion – or 7.5% of the company’s outstanding shares – and a three-year note valued at around $5.3 billion to pay Comcast Corp. for the 57% of QVC Inc. it doesn’t own…. The Tennis Channel will provide hi-def sports content to INHD and INHD2, In Demand’s 24-hour high-definition services launching in September…. Meetup.com, an online site that facilitates the organization of cliques of like-minded individuals, has partnered with BillOReilly.com to help fans of the Fox News shouter get together and grumble…. Waller Capital is not an equity investor in the America Channel, as stated in the July 7 issue, but has been retained by the America Channel as a strategic and financial adviser and is assisting with distribution. “They have raised seed capital from private individuals and are very well capitalized for the foreseeable future while they seek carriage agreements, and once those agreements are in place the company intends to launch an institutional private equity round,” says Waller Capital VP Andrew Kessler.
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