Cable Operators

Schleyer: Sale Decision in Early ‘05

12/09/2004 8:49 AM Eastern

New York -- Adelphia Communications Corp. chairman and CEO Bill Schleyer told a group of investors Thursday that the Denver-based MSO should make a decision on whether to sell its assets or emerge from bankruptcy by the first quarter of 2005.

Speaking at the UBS Warburg Media Week conference here, Schleyer said final bids for Adelphia are due in January, with final documentation not expected until “well into” February.

Adelphia has been on the block since April, and it is expected to attract bids ranging from $17 billion-$20 billion.

To date, more than 40 interested parties have expressed interest in all or part of Adelphia, which has about 5.3 million subscribers in 31 states. Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. -- which said earlier in the year that they are considering a joint bid for the assets -- are the early front-runners.

Due diligence on the systems is under way, and Schleyer said meetings between prospective bidders and Adelphia management are expected to last into January. He added that the MSO has tried to accommodate all potential bidders, but it could not honor every request.

“One company wanted to see 110 headends,” Schleyer said. “We just don’t have the resources to do that. This is one of the most ‘diligenced’ sales I’ve ever been involved in.”

Schleyer said that if the decision is to sell, a deal likely wouldn’t close until the fourth quarter of 2005. He added that if Adelphia decides to remain whole, it could emerge from bankruptcy in the second half of 2005.

September