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Charter CEO Expresses Interest in Adelphia

Sep 28, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Charter Communications CEO Carl Vogel on Tuesday said he is interested in some of the assets being sold by Adelphia Communications, but added that such a purchase would require controlling shareholder Paul Allen to step up to help make an offer.

Speaking in Los Angeles at an investor conference sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Mr. Vogel said Charter is “interested” in Adelphia.

“It would reduce the leverage in the overall company,” Mr. Vogel said. But the debt-laden cable company would need “participation” from Mr. Allen in order to make such a deal happen.

St. Louis-based Charter has been struggling for years under a mountain of debt that has given the company less room with which to compete against the exploding growth of rivals in the satellite industry. In the face of that stiffening competition, Charter has been steadily losing customers.

If Charter steps up, it would be among around 20 parties interested in the bankrupt Adelphia, which officially put itself up for sale last week. Charter would face stiff competition from rival cable companies Comcast and Time Warner, which are exploring making a joint bid for Adelphia and its 5.4 million subscribers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vogel defended the state of things in the Charter executive suite, saying that despite a recent stream of departures, Charter continues to “have an excellent management team.”

In recent weeks, Charter has lost its chief financial officer, as well as a top marketing and advertising executive and an executive who ran the company’s Midwest division.