New York -- AOL Time Warner Inc. CEO Gerald Levin said his company has no
interest in acquiring the 30 million shares of Cablevision Systems Corp. stock
owned by AT&T Corp., but he added that he still harbors a wish to
consolidate the New York metropolitan market, Cablevision's operating base.
Asked at AOL Time Warner's annual meeting here Thursday, Levin said he was
not interested in buying AT&T's Cablevision stake, which, although it
represents about 17 percent of Cablevision's outstanding stock, holds minimal
AT&T asked Cablevision to register 30 million of the 49 million shares it
owns in the Bethpage, N.Y.-based MSO last month for possible sale. Cablevision
countered May 8, saying it would not register the shares, which could block an
offering for up to 145 days.
Some analysts have speculated that buying the Cablevision shares would be a
foot in the door for AOL Time Warner, which has long coveted Cablevision's New
Cablevision has about 3 million subscribers in the New York metro area. Time
Warner's largest single cluster is in Manhattan, with 1.2 million
'The interest that AT&T owns is an illiquid, passive interest,' Levin
said at the meeting. 'It provides no path to control. We have not stepped up in
Later, after the meeting was over, Levin told a small group of reporters and
shareholders that he was not talking about any deals in the works.
'Of course it makes sense,' Levin said of a combination of Cablevision and
AOL Time Warner cable assets. 'I was not making any statement about a