Finance Briefs

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Los Angeles -- Falcon Holding Group L.P., parentcompany of Falcon Cable TV Corp., said last week that its 1997 cash flow was flat comparedwith 1996, even as revenue rose 4.5 percent.

Falcon blamed the static cash flow, at a pro forma $133.8million, on nonrecurring items recorded as income in 1996, and on increased programmingcosts. Revenue rose to $255.9 million in 1997 from $244.9 million in 1996. Falcon'snet loss decreased to $60.8 million from $74.7 million the year before, due to lowerdepreciation, amortization and interest expenses.

At the end of last year, Falcon signed a joint-ventureagreement with Tele-Communications Inc., into which Falcon will contribute systems with682,000 subscribers and TCI will contribute systems with about 293,000 subscribers. Falconwill hold 57 percent equity, and it will be managing partner.

Separately, Falcon is attempting to raise $500 million in aprivate placement to repay outstanding debt, including 11 percent senior-subordinatednotes due 2003.

New York -- Standard & Poor's Corp. said last weekthat it has assigned its single-B-plus rating to the proposed $150 million Rule 144Asenior notes due 2008 jointly offered by MSO Mediacom LLC and Mediacom CapitalCorp. A double-B-plus bank-loan rating was assigned to the companies' $325 millionbank facility. In addition, a double-B-minus corporate-credit rating was assigned toMediacom LLC, the Middletown, N.Y.-based MSO founded by former Cablevision Industrieschief financial officer Rocco Commisso.

The agency said the ratings reflect Mediacom's rapidgrowth through acquisitions over the past two years and S&P's expectation thatMediacom will continue to consolidate small-market cable systems. The ratings also reflectthe moderate debt levels used to finance the expansion. Mediacom only has about $900 indebt per subscriber -- considerably less than the industry average.

Northvale, N.J. -- Video Services Corp., avideo-services provider serving the cable, broadcast and syndicated-programming markets,announced that Sandler Capital Management bought 500,000 shares of the company'sstock for $3.25 per share, which was the market price at the time of the agreement.

Sandler is raising its stake in Video Services to almost1.9 million shares, or 14 percent. "Video Services Corp. has always maintained asolid balance sheet and relatively high operating margins," said John Kornreich,Sandler's managing director, in a prepared statement. "With new management inplace, we are confident of improved growth and even higher margins."

The selling shareholders are CEO Louis H.Siracusano, who sold 200,000 shares, and Arnold P. Ferolito, a principal stockholder ofthe previous, privately held entity, Video Services Corp., who sold 300,000 shares.Siracusano continues to be the single largest shareholder of the company, with about 24percent of outstanding shares after the deal.