Charter Extends Allen Suit Deadline

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Charter Communications Inc. has extended the period of time after which it said it would sue chairman Paul Allen regarding partnership interests he received as part of Charter’s acquisition of Bresnan Communications in 2000.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Feb. 2, Charter said the parties have extended a previous deadline of Feb. 6 and both parties in the matter have agreed to notify the other within 10 days of initiating any legal action. No new deadline was set in the Feb. 2 filing.

Charter originally set the Feb. 6 deadline in an SEC filing Jan. 20. However, most people familiar with the situation saw that more as an effort to move the negotiation process forward.

The dispute centers around a 2002 deal Allen struck with Comcast Corp. to buy Comcast’s interests in the Bresnan partnership, called CC VIII, for about $650 million. Comcast had inherited the partnership interests as part of its acquisition of AT&T Broadband.

Last April, Charter said it had issues with ambiguous wording in the partnership agreement regarding the ultimate ownership of the Comcast rights.

Charter appointed a special committee to look into the matter last year, which determined that Allen should be required to contribute the interest in the partnership to Charter in exchange for 24.3 million membership units in subsidiary Charter Holdco. Those membership units would be exchangeable into Charter class-B common stock.

Allen has informed the committee that he disagrees with their findings.

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