Suddenlink Communications, former cable player Steve Simmons and cable overbuilder Knology are among six companies, including private equity funds, reportedly in the bidding to snatch up Bresnan Communications. The suitors have bid seven to 10 times cash flow for the first cable property to go up for sale in the last couple years.
The deal is being muddied by Bresnan's relationship with Comcast, which owns 30 percent of the storied cable provider and its 1.3 million subscribers in Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma providing programming discounts as part of that ownership. While those discounts will inevitably end, there's dispute around how much they are and how they would impact any deal. Comcast hasn't said what it plans to do with its partnership.
Bresnan began investigating a sale in March when its majority stakeholder Providence Equity Partners began talking up the sale to bankers. Credit Suisse and UBS have agreed to provide as much as #1 billion in staple funding for the winning bidder.
Bresnan Communications could be first big cable sale in two years
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