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Insight eyes the private route

Sun, 03/06/2005 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Taking a page from Cox Communications, two founders of Insight Communications have offered to take the company private for $10.70 per share.

Insight co-founders Sidney Knafel and Michael Willner, with backing from The Carlyle Group, are making a proposal that values the MSO at about $650 million.

The deal, offered via a new entity called New Insight LLC, is offering a price that represents an 11 percent premium over the closing price of Insight's stock on Friday, March 4.

The announcement sent Insight's stock, which has been struggling, to much higher ground. Insight shares shot up 20.14 percent to $11.63 apiece in early trading Monday.

"This proposal represents an opportunity for Insight's public shareholders to realize liquidity at a price higher than the shares have traded over the past 12 months," Knafel said, in a statement.

Knafel, Willner and their related parties collectively own shares of Insight representing roughly 14 percent of the equity and 62 percent of the vote. They have told the board that they will not consider other deals for their interest in Insight.

If the deal obtains shareholder approval and goes through as planned, it would mark the second time a large MSO has taken the private route. Cox Enterprises took Cox Communications private in December.

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