St. Louis -- As the consolidation craze encompasses big and
small cable operators and big and small deals, Millennium Digital Media Holdings LLC said
last week that it closed agreements to buy two small operators, adding about 86,000
Also last week, Charter Communications closed its $459
million buyout of Renaissance Media Group LLC -- a deal valued at about 16 times last
year's cash flow. Renaissance had some 130,000 subscribers in Louisiana, Mississippi
and Jackson, Tenn.
Charter, mostly owned by billionaire Paul Allen, has
amassed 3.6 million subscribers, including several acquisitions that are still pending.
And Adelphia Communications Corp. said it closed its deal
to buy Verto Communications Inc. in order to expand in the Scranton, Pa., area.
Adelphia agreed to issue 3 million shares of its class-A
common stock -- worth about $128 million at the time the deal was announced -- and to
assume about $32 million in liabilities. Verto, with 56,000 subscribers in Greater
Scranton, sold for about 11.5 times 1999 cash flow.
Including pending deals, Adelphia has about 5 million
Millennium -- formed by former Charter executives and other
St. Louis businessmen, with financial backing from TSG Capital Group L.L.C. -- bought
Summit Communications Inc. and Horizon Cable I Ltd.
Summit had 44,000 subscribers in the Seattle area, Idaho
and Oregon, while Horizon had 42,000 subscribers around Detroit and Lansing, Mich.
Millennium now has 144,000 subscribers. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Millennium said it intends to continue or begin aggressive
upgrades with an eye toward offering data and digital-video services.
In addition, Waller Capital Corp., which represented the
seller, said last week that Willow Park Cable TV Inc. sold systems with about 5,000
subscribers in the Fort Worth, Texas, area to Malard Communications.