Adelphia Communications officially hung out the “For Sale”sign last week, triggering a horse race in which as many as 20 interested parties-including some big-name cable operators-vying for some or all of the bankrupt cable operator’s assets.
The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based cable company, with 5.4 million subscribers, said it will entertain offers from parties interested in the entire company as well as one or more of the seven regional clusters that make up the Adelphia footprint.
But few analysts foresee the sale process being easy. Because of how the company is structured, a large number of creditors must be satisfied before a deal can proceed. As an alternative to the sale process, Adelphia executives are working to reorganize the company as a standalone entity should it emerge from bankruptcy.
The clusters include Northern New England/Eastern New York; Cleveland/Greater Ohio Valley; Florida/Southeast; California/Western; Virginia/Maryland/Colorado Springs, Colo./Kentucky; Pennsylvania; and Western New York/Connecticut. UBS Investment Bank and Allen & Co. are handling the sale, which could fetch $18 billion or more.
Among the potential suitors are cable giants Comcast and Time Warner as well as three separate investment teams comprising private-equity firms and longtime cable executives.