St. Louis -- Charter Communications said last Monday that
Paul G. Allen completed his $4.5 billion acquisition of the company.
Charter, with about 1.2 million subscribers, is still in
the process of completing its combination with similarly sized Marcus Cable, which Allen
also bought last year.
Allen's Vulcan Ventures Inc. has been asking local
authorities in Marcus territories to transfer franchises to Charter, which has been
running the Marcus systems since October, under a management agreement.
When Allen bought Marcus for $2.8 billion, Vulcan did not
ask for franchise transfers because at that time, general partner Jeffrey Marcus was going
to remain in that role. But after Allen agreed to buy Charter in July, Marcus, who is now
CEO of Chancellor Media Corp., opted to sell his remaining stake to Allen.
Charter has run into some problems getting franchise
transfers in cities where Marcus has operating problems -- notably near Dallas, where
Marcus was based.
Charter spokeswoman Anita Lamont said all but three of the
nearly 500 Charter franchise authorities approved of the transfers, but only "more
than 50 percent" of the Marcus franchises have been transferred.
"Those are going well," Lamont said. "They
got a late start."