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Cox Wants to Sell Cable Systems

Mar 8, 2005  •  Post A Comment

In a bid to take advantage of growing interest among private-equity players in cable systems, Cox Communications is looking to sell as many as four cable systems. The company is looking at the move as a way to reduce the debt load of its parent, Cox Enterprises.

According to an article Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, the four systems are worth between $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion and are in markets deemed noncore to Cox because they aren’t closely tied to existing cable-system clusters. The four systems have around 900,000 subscribers.

Cox Enterprises late last year bought the remaining 38 percent in Cox Communications that it didn’t already own for $8.5 billion, taking the cable operator private. Cox Communications has 6.3 million subscribers.

In recent months private-equity money has been chasing cable systems at the same time that public investors have grown weary of the cable industry’s battles with both satellite operators and telephone companies planning to introduce video services this year.

So far, two major private-equity players–Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Providence Equity Partners–have submitted a combined bid for Adelphia Communications, while The Carlyle Group is teaming up with the co-founders of Insight Communications in a proposal to take that cable operator private.