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The Dolan family’s $8.9 billion bid to take Cablevision private has been rejected by an independant special board committee. The company had until Wednesday to respond to the latest bid but didn’t need that long to decide the $30 per share offer was “inadequate.” So much for controlling voting interest; the Dolans hold 20 percent of the stock but more than 70 percent of the voting rights. The Dolans’ offer of $27 per share languished for months; they raised that three dollars late last week but also turned up the pressure by saying they wouldn’t go higer. Cablevision has 3 million customers in the New York area — more than 2 million online customers — and is often touted as a good fit for Time Warner.
WSJ: “The failure of their bid will likely renew speculation that the company will become a takeover target. The Dolans have said they have no interest in selling the company. But the family is known for surprises.” The Journal suggests the committee’s rejection signals a change in the way proposed buyouts are being received but the Dolans lost nearly two years ago, too.
NYT: “The rebuff was a rare example of a board standing up to and denying a request by a controlling shareholder.” In a letter, the two-person special committee said the Dolans had been warned their bids were inadequate and that “general guidance” on the right price had been provided. “… Most analysts estimate that the company would be worth at least $40 a share if it were put up for auction.”