Cox Enterprises plans to buy out the 38% minority stake held by the public in cable operator Cox Communications for $7.9bn in cash and take the company private as a 100% subsidiary.
With huge investment needed to keep the US’s fourth largest cable operator competitive, CEI believes that this is best done under its wing rather than under the glare of stock market attention when investors get rattled at a poor set of quarterly numbers.
Privately held CEI runs a network of 300 companies including newspapers, TV and radio stations, and with revenue of $10.7bn in 2003, it has the financial muscle to satisfy the cable company’s investment needs.
James Kennedy, CEO of CEI, said that an increasingly competitive environment means that future investments in the cable industry are best done through a private company structure.
The $32 a share offer is a 16% premium on Friday’s closing price.