Charter Sets $8.4B Debt Refinancing

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Charter Communications Inc. announced an $8.4 billion private-debt refinancing Wednesday, essentially pushing back the maturities on many of its bonds to 2014 and 2015.

The move is the latest in a series of maturity extensions the St. Louis-based MSO has done over the years. While it does not wipe out the debt, it gives the MSO some financial flexibility.

Charter is offering to exchange the debt at discounts, and the company offering a $50 payment for bondholders who tender their bonds early.

The deadline for tendering the bonds is Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.

“Consistent with our opportunistic approach to improving the balance sheet, the purpose of the exchange is to increase our financial flexibility by extending debt and reducing indebtedness by capturing discount,” Charter spokesman David Andersen said in a prepared statement.

According to a press release, the offerings will be made by two Charter subsidiaries: CCH I is offering $3.525 billion in 11% senior notes due 2015 in exchange for older notes due in 2009 and 2010, and CCH I Holdings is offering $4.262 billion in senior notes due 2014 and 2015 in exchange for various older notes due in 2011 and 2012.

Investors were pleased with the announcement, driving Charter stock up 27% (32 cents per share) to $1.47 each in early trading Wednesday.

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