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Insight Communications sale reported imminent

Wed, 07/06/2011 - 8:25am
Brian Santo

Insight Communications will reportedly be sold within a month, after final bids were submitted last week.

Bidders include WideOpenWest and Mediacom, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.Cablevision has reportedly dropped out of the bidding, and Time Warner Cable remains interested, but only if it can get the operation at a bargain price. Several buyout firms are also reported to still be involved.

The top bids came in at just more $3 billion, according to sources cited by The WSJ.

Insight is the ninth-largest MSO and ranks 13th among all multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), with a total of about 700,000 subscribers.

A bid of just more than $3 billion, then, would work out to roughly $4,300 per subscriber. By way of comparison, when Cablevision bought Bresnan last year, it paid roughly $4,500/sub.

In 2005, Insight Communications went private, arranging a purchase of the majority of company stock by the Carlyle Group, with Chairman Sidney Knafel and CEO Michael Willner buying minority shares.

The Carlyle Group failed to sell its interest at least once in the intervening years, but last year it succeeded in selling part of its interest to a pair of investment groups – Crestview Partners and MidOcean Partners (Crestview and MidOcean jointly own OneLink Communications, which operates in Puerto Rico). Carlyle was left with 42 percent of the company, and the latter two shared another 42 percent.

Insight has networks in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. WideOpenWest has operations in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Mediacom Communications' systems are spread across the Midwest and South.

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