Dallas -- Marcus Cable Co. L.P.'s moves to sell
non-core systems continued last week as it agreed to sell cable systems with 71,500
subscribers in four states to The Washington Post Co.'s Cable One and closed a
pending deal with Comcast Corp. involving 26,500 subscribers.
Marcus -- which is exploring alternatives, including a
possible sale of the whole company -- also said it closed a pending deal to buy systems
with 23,000 subscribers in Alabama from Mountain Brook Cablevision Inc. and Shelby Cable
Inc. The deal swells Marcus' Birmingham-area cluster to 114,000 subscribers. Terms
were not disclosed.
The Cable One deal involves Marcus systems in Mississippi,
Louisiana, the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, leaving five Illinois systems to be sold in
order to complete its divestiture strategy. Waller Capital Corp. is handling the sales.
The Cable One deal is the third sale for the Texas-based
MSO since it announced last month that it was putting 200,000 of its 1.2 million customers
on the block. It has also agreed to send 63,000 subscribers in Connecticut and Virginia to
TMC Holdings Inc. for $150 million.
Marcus now has five remaining Illinois systems to sell in
order to complete its divestiture strategy, said MSO president Jeff Marcus.
"We're hoping to have an announcement on the
Illinois systems in a couple of weeks," Marcus said.
On another front, he declined to comment on whether the
company might be negotiating a deal with Tele-Communications Inc., which is interested in
adding Marcus' Ft. Worth system to its Dallas operations.
"We're in the process, and are exploring
everything right now," he said.
After completing its pending and expected sales,
Marcus' operations will consist of 1.1 million subscribers concentrated in Texas,
California, Wisconsin, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Indiana.
The Comcast sale was of systems in Delaware and Maryland,
and the price was $65.5 million.
In other system deals:
* Comcast Corp. closed its deal to buy cable systems in
Broward County, Fla., from a series of partnerships managed by Jones Intercable Inc. The
price was $140 million for 55,000 subscribers. Comcast did the deal through its Comcast
MHCP Holdings LLC, of which it controls 55 percent. That venture was formed in 1994 with
the California Public Employees' Retirement System to buy U.S. cable systems owned by
Maclean Hunter Ltd.
* Cable One said it has reached an agreement in principle
to sell 14 systems in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas with a total of 28,000
subscribers to Classic Communications. Terms were not disclosed.
* Bresnan Communications Co. sold systems with 7,000
subscribers in Grenada and Bruce, Miss., to Cable One. HPC Puckett & Co. brokered the
deal, which is part of an exchange. Other elements of the exchange were not disclosed.