Cable Operators

MSOs Offer Clues on Possible Adelphia Bids

6/04/2004 8:28 AM Eastern

Adelphia Communications Corp. is currently in the process of choosing bankers to manage a possible sale, and other major MSOs are all ears.

Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts outlined a scenario Friday under which Time Warner Inc. would bid on Adelphia, then Comcast would exchange its Time Warner Cable stake for selected Adelphia systems, Reuters reported.

"We own 21% of [Time Warner Cable], and we could exchange that for assets," Roberts said at an investor conference. "There's an opportunity here as Adelphia comes out of bankruptcy for some trades and the rationalization of some cable properties."

Meanwhile, Cox Communications Inc. CEO Jim Robbins spoke of possibly using the MSO’s 25% stake in Discovery Communications Inc. to acquire some Adelphia systems, according to Reuters.

“If there was some way to monetize tax-efficiently our interest in Discovery and turn it into cable subscribers, we would pursue it," Robbins told Reuters.

As far as Liberty Media Corp., last month, CEO Dob Bennett said the company would get involved in a bid for Adelphia, but only if it meant that the deal would allow it to get a bigger piece of DCI. Besides Cox, Advance/Newhouse Communications also owns 25% of the programmer, while Liberty holds the other 50%.

“Our interest in Adelphia would be driven by our Discovery partners’ interest in Adelphia,” Bennett said last month.

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