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Cablevision’s Rainbow To Buy Sundance Channel For $496 Million Cash And Stock Transfer

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is trying really hard to spend more than $1 billion on acquisitions — we’ve been reporting on the $600-plus million bid for Newsday and now the company’s Rainbow Media Holdings is picking up the Sundance Channel in a complicated stock-cash deal worth $496 million. Rainbow is buying Sundance from NBC Universale, CBS (NYSE: CBS) (through Showtime) and “entities controlled by” channel founder Robert Redford. General Electric will be paid through a stock swap of GE shares held by Rainbow (tax-free to Cablevision) and cash to make up the difference. CBS and Redford will be paid in cash. When it’s all done, Rainbow will own 100 percent of the channel Redford founded in 1996. Sundance is available in nearly 30 million homes.

Sundance should fit in with Rainbow’s AMC, IFC and WE. Redford will continue to be associated with the channel, although the length of that agreement is unclear. Release.

Update: The GE shares being used for Sundance were acquired by Cablevision in 2002 when it sold Bravo to NBC Universal (NYSE: GE).