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Comcast CFO Comments on Adelphia Sale Process

Sep 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Comcast co-Chief Financial Officer John Alchin on Wednesday described Adelphia Communications’ sale process as “almost clumsy” and repeated that his company is not in desperate need of striking a deal for all or part of the beleaguered cable operator.

Stressing that the slow process is not the fault of Adelphia management, Mr. Alchin said the time needed to secure bankruptcy court approval for Adelphia’s selection of bankers to handle a sale illustrates that there is “way too much uncertainty” in the sale process.

Comcast is considered a likely bidder for some or all of the assets of the bankrupt Adelphia, which announced in April it was putting itself up for sale. Some experts estimate Adelphia could fetch between $17 billion and $20 billion, and perhaps more if individual systems are sold piecemeal.

At the same time, Mr. Alchin, speaking Wednesday at an investor conference in Washington sponsored by investment bank Morgan Stanley, noted that Comcast is not in a rush to complete a sale of Adelphia and will not “push it to the edge” to get a deal done.

“With 21.5 million subscribers, we don’t need to gain more subs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Alchin also dismissed as “negligible” the 96,000 subscribers lost in the second quarter, which was higher than most of Wall Street’s subscriber-loss forecasts during a period known for losing subs as a result of seasonal effects.

He added that the third quarter is expected to follow general trends of being flat year-over-year in terms of subscriber growth.