Northland Cable Television Inc., which has been waging a
court battle against a potential overbuilder in Woodburn, Ore., said last week that it
reached an agreement to sell its 4,300-subscriber system there to its opponent.
Seattle-based Northland said it signed a deal to sell the
system to North Willamette Telecom Inc. for about $6.9 million, which works out to around
$1,600 per subscriber, or 10.5 times the system's 1997 cash flow.
Northland chief financial officer Gary Jones said during a
conference call disclosing first-quarter earnings that the system was Northland's
only one in Oregon, and that the company had no real prospects of obtaining others. It
received a good offer, he said, and it decided to sell.
According to Northland securities filings, North Willamette
had been trying to get a cable franchise in Woodburn since 1993, without success.
In March 1996, North Willamette filed a lawsuit in U.S.
District Court in Oregon, charging that Northland violated antitrust laws in connection
with the franchise matter and seeking actual and punitive damages totaling more than $20
Under the terms of the Feb. 23 system-sale agreement, North
Willamette will file a mutual-release dismissal, with prejudice of matters related to the
lawsuit, Northland said.
Separately, Northland -- which has about 134,000
subscribers after closing a $70 million deal to buy former InterMedia Partners systems
with 36,000 subscribers in South Carolina -- said it agreed to buy a 1,100-subscriber
system in Hamilton, Texas, for $800,000.