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Frustrated Commisso throws in towel on taking Mediacom private

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Mediacom Communications founder, Chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso announced yesterday that he has withdrawn his offer to take the company private.

Commisso first submitted a non-binding offer on May 31 to purchase all of Mediacom's shares that he didn't already own. In his initial offer, Commisso bid $6 per share – which was a 16 percent increase over the six-month average closing price – for all of the Class A and Class B shares that he didn't own.

At the end of April, Mediacom had roughly 68.1 million shares of Class A and B outstanding, bringing the total value of the deal to about $408.6 million.

Commisso needed the approval of Mediacom's board and stockholders to take the company private.

In June, Mediacom's Special Committee of its board of directors announced that it had retained Barclays Capital as its financial advisor to assist in the review of Commisso's offer.

A frustrated Commisso decided to pull his offer after the Special Committee turned down an increase in his initial offer, despite Commisso's agreement that acceptance of the offer would be subject to the approval of the holders of a majority of the shares of Mediacom that he doesn't own.

"I am very disappointed with the highly unusual process and ground rules established by the Special Committee and its financial and legal advisors to evaluate my proposal," Commisso said. "I firmly believe that the Special Committee's decision is not in the best interests of Mediacom's shareholders."

According to yesterday's press release, Commisso expressed particular frustration that the Special Committee's rejection of his revised offer deprived Mediacom's public shareholders of the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not to accept his offer for their shares.

In addition to withdrawing his offer, Commisso has terminated discussions with the Special Committee and indicated he has no interest in selling his Mediacom shares.

Mediacom, which is the nation's eighth-largest cable operator, serves 1.3 million subscribers, with a large customer base in Iowa.

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