Charter to Buy Bresnan for $3.1 Billion


Charter Communications Inc., one of Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen's Wired World companies, said it would add to its stable of cable TV operators by acquiring Bresnan Communications Co. of New York for $3.1 billion. Charter said that after completion of the deal, expected early next year, it would serve about 6.2 million customers as the U.S.' fourth-largest cable operator. Charter also has other cable deals pending: a proposed $3.6-billion acquisition of Los Angeles-based Falcon Cable TV and Denver-based Fanch Communications Inc. and several small to mid-size operators. Bresnan is a partnership that includes William Bresnan, AT&T; Broadband & Internet Services and affiliates of Blackstone Capital Partners III, a New York-based private equity fund. Bresnan is the managing general partner. The existing partners of Bresnan Communications will receive cash and a small interest in Charter. Bresnan's 690,000 cable TV customers are largely in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Charter is based in St. Louis.

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