Cablevision To Buy Bresnan Communications For $1.3 Billion

The acquisition would expand Cablevision's cable and Internet holdings into Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

William Gardner

June 14, 2010

1 Min Read
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Cablevision Systems Corp. reported Monday that it plans to purchase western cable firm Bresnan Communications for $1.36 billion from a group of investors led by Providence Equity Partners. The acquisition would diversify Cablevision from its Northeast base and expand its cable and Internet holdings into Bresnan's stronghold in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

Although its facilities are located in remote areas with little competition, Bresnan amassed a reputation for innovating under its founder, William J. Bresnan, who died last year. The company was purchased earlier by a group of investors led by Providence Equity Partners with participation also by Quadrangle Group.

"Bill Bresnan was a cable legend and was close to so many in the industry, including the Dolan family," said Cablevision CEO James L. Dolan in a statement. "The Bresnan team has built an impressive cable business that performs well financially, and we look forward to working to enhance those systems further."

Cablevision said it will create a subsidiary to provide financing for the acquisition. Bresnan serves more than 630,000 homes in its coverage area. Bresnan's headquarters is in Purchase, New York. William Bresnan and Providence Equity Partners took over control of the Bresnan facilities in a $525 million acquisition from Comcast in 2003.

Both Cablevision and Bresnan have introduced leading ledge services in recent years. A few years ago, Bresnan introduced a program that linked Wi-Fi to existing cable networks -- an innovation that has been copied by other cable providers.

Cablevision deviated from its traditional cable base in 2008 when it bought Newsday, the leading newspaper on Long Island. Cablevision has taken a substantial write-off on the acquisition and appears now to have decided to stick to its cable and communications knitting with the Bresnan acquisition.

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