Bresnan Communications president Bill Bresnan, pressed to find additional
financing for his proposed purchase of 320,000 rural-market subscribers from
AT&T Broadband, might finally get it from an unusual source -- Comcast
At issue is about $150 million, or about 15 percent of the total deal,
including the money needed for upgrades.
In April, Bresnan agreed to buy AT&T Broadband systems in rural parts of
Montana, Wyoming and Colorado for $735 million in cash. Bresnan also committed
to spend $300 million over three years to upgrade the properties.
Bresnan had already locked up funding for the deal from private-equity firm
Providence Equity Partners Inc. and Toronto-Dominion Capital, the private-equity
arm of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Sources familiar with the deal said the
private-equity portion is probably in the $250 million range.
Bresnan also has received a commitment letter from at least one bank --
According to sources, Comcast -- which is in the process of merging with
AT&T Broadband -- might step up and provide the financing for Bresnan.
A deal with the Philadelphia-based MSO would ease a major burden for Bresnan,
which had to hold up the AT&T Broadband systems acquisition after a proposed
high-yield offering fell through. According to people familiar with the matter,
Bresnan has been beating on doors at banks and financing companies to raise the
needed $150 million, but to no avail.
Bresnan originally intended to close the purchase in September, and it later
extended that date to year's end.
Now, people familiar with the situation said the deal will likely close after
the AT&T Broadband-Comcast merger is completed.
Bresnan could not be reached for comment. Comcast officials declined