Hostetter Part of Insight Deal

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Insight Communications Co. Inc. has set a date for shareholders to vote on the proposed transaction to take the operator private and said a new equity partner is in the deal: former cable mogul Amos Hostetter.

In a securities filing Thursday, Insight said the shareholder meeting will take place Dec. 16 at 9:30 a.m. (EST) at The Michelangelo Hotel in New York.

In March, the company’s cofounders -- chairman Sidney Knafel, CEO Michael Willner and private-equity firm The Carlyle Group L.L.C. -- proposed buying the 86% of Insight stock they didn’t already own for about $718 million in cash, or $11.75 per share. Insight’s board of directors has approved the deal.

The proxy statement filed last week said Knafel, Willner and Carlyle will contribute about $606.3 million to the buyout. Another private-equity partner -- PH Investments LLC, controlled by Hostetter -- will contribute $40 million. Hostetter will receive a seat on the board of directors of the surviving entity.

The statement said that shortly after Insight announced the plan to go private March 7, Willner received a call from Hostetter asking whether outside investors might be let in on the deal. Willner said he would discuss it with the other buyers. Then in August, Willner brought up the possibility of Hostetter’s inclusion with Knafel and Carlyle.

“Although co-investment by outside parties was not desired by the buyers, the buyers agreed to pursue the possibility of an investment by Amos Hostetter given his extensive experience in the cable industry,” the proxy stated. “For this reason, consideration was also given to Amos Hostetter joining the board of directors of the surviving corporation.” PH Investments will own 5.6% of the surviving entity after the buyout, with Carlyle controlling 78%, the proxy said.

For more on Amos Hostetter and Insight, please see Mike Farrell’s story on page eight of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

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