The Dolan family’s decision to make a third swipe at taking Cablevision Systems private created a windfall for at least two company executives, who cashed in thousands of stock options as shares in the Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable operator soared.
Cablevision stock rose nearly 9% ($2.80 per share) May 2, the day the Dolans announced that they had received approval from a special committee of independent directors to buy out the remaining shares of Cablevision stock they didn’t already own for $36.26 each. That buyout is still subject to shareholder approval. The stock climbed to a high of $36.19 May 3, falling back slightly to $35.48 per share May 8.
According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed Tuesday, Cablevision chief operating officer Tom Rutledge exercised stock options for nearly 215,000 shares from May 4-7 -- after the Dolan announcement and after Cablevision released its first-quarter earnings -- at strike prices ranging from $10.78-$20.78 per share. Rutledge sold those shares at $35.60-$35.75 per share, reaping a profit of $4.8 million.
Cablevision vice chairman Hank Ratner exercised options May 4 for 250,000 shares at strike prices ranging from $10.46-$15.51 per share, according to SEC documents. He then sold those shares at prices ranging from $35.55-$35.58 each, netting a profit of $5.6 million.