Television

Time Warner eyes purchase of Colorado-based cable co. Adelphia

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MUMBAI: Time Warner Inc., is considering buying the bankrupt Colorado based cable operator Adelphia Communications Corp.

Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons was recently quoted in the media saying, "Adelphia is obviously a situation that anyone interested in expanding in the cable space will want to look at. We'll certainly take a look to see if there's a way that we can do something that's good for our shareholders."

He also said that he might add to Time Warner's cable unit because it was growing faster than any of the company's other businesses.

Time Warner can be "a little more aggressive," Parsons said, now that its net debt is down to a three-year low of $18.8 billion. One media report said that Adelphia may fetch more than $20 billion in a sale.

Parsons also said that he would avoid spending too much purchasing other companies. Time Warner's interest in Adelphia was reported last month by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources it didn't identify.

A sale may value Adelphia, the fifth-largest US cable company, at as much as $20.5 billion. Adelphia's cable systems have more than 5.3 million subscribers.

The media report said that the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two years ago, claiming more than $18 billion in debt. While on the other hand, Adelphia founder John Rigas is on trial on fraud charges in US.

Parsons was also quoted as saying that he wanted to expand in the cable business because of its multiple revenue streams and because owning cable systems helps Time Warner's entertainment-content businesses.

Owning cable systems assures Time Warner a means of distributing Warner Bros. movies and TV shows and programming from Time Warner's cable networks, which include HBO and CNN.

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