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Cablevision ponders a spin-off

Tue, 08/05/2008 - 8:40am
Brian Santo

The board of Cablevision said it is considering multiple options for boosting its stock value, including a possible spin-off of at least one of its units, a stock buyback and paying a special dividend.

The company did not single out any operations as candidates for divestiture. The company runs several cable television networks – including AMC, IFC and WE tv – as part of its Rainbow Media Holdings unit, as well as the business services operation Optimum Lightpath and Madison Square Garden, including three teams that play there: basketball's New York Knicks and New York Liberty, and hockey's New York Rangers.

CEO James Dolan and members of his family, who together control the company’s stock, last year offered to take Cablevision private with an offer of $36.26 per share. That offer was rejected as too low. The 52-week range for the company is $19.04 to $35.06, but in the last six months, the stock has traded in the lower half of that range.

Last week, Dolan publicly complained – again – that investors are significantly undervaluing the company.

The company's other entertainment venues include Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater, both in New York, as well as the Chicago Theater.

Cablevision just bought newspaper publisher Newsday Media Group for $650 million.

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