NTL, Comcast Hit Share Highs


London -- A highly successful British cable-industry bond
offering of $1.3 billion last week lifted the shares of not just one, but two, major U.K.
cable operators.

NTL Inc. on March 9 raised $802 million in an
oversubscribed U.S. offering, and £176 million ($290 million) and £125 million ($206
million) in two separate U.K. bond offerings.

The company said in a statement that it will use the
proceeds "for construction, working capital, refinancing indebtedness, acquisitions
or other corporate purposes of the company."

The success of the bond offering caused NTL's stock
(NTLI) to hit a new one-year high of $44.25 per share, before settling back down to about
$43.43. That was a substantial leap from the $32 that NTL was trading at a month ago, when
it announced a merger with Comcast U.K. Cable Partners Ltd., another British MSO.

In that complex deal, which has not closed, Comcast U.K.
shareholders will receive 0.3745 shares of NTL common stock for each share of Comcast U.K.
common stock. As a result, Comcast's shares soared along with NTL's shares last

On the day of the merger announcement, NTL's share
price valued each Comcast share at $12, but Comcast's shares also set a new one-year
high of $14.63 last week, before settling back down to about $14.13.