Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC:US), the fifth-largest U.S. cable operator, is among seven bidders for Providence Equity Partners Inc.’s Bresnan Communications, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Suddenlink Communications in St. Louis, Ascent Media Corp. in Englewood, Colorado, and at least one private-equity firm are also vying for the broadband provider, according to one of the people who declined to be identified because the talks are private. John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media LLC, owns 30.3 percent of the voting shares of Ascent Media.
All the bids are for more than $1 billion, the person said.
Bresnan, based in Purchase, New York, provides broadband-communication services in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah and is 30 percent-owned by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US) Bresnan would give its new owner a slice of the market for high-speed Internet services, whose revenue is expected to rise to $210 billion globally in 2014 from $164 billion in 2009, according to ABI Research in Oyster Bay, New York.
Kim Kerns, a Cablevision spokeswoman, declined to comment. Calls to Ascent, Suddenlink and Providence after regular business hours weren’t immediately returned.
Founder Bill Bresnan, who repurchased the company in 2003 for $525 million with backing from Providence, died last year. Cablevision may seek Bresnan’s properties because the broadband provider doesn’t compete with phone operators AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. in the areas it operates, said David Joyce, an analyst with Miller Tabak & Co LLC in New York. Cablevision may have bid $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion, he said.
Cablevision, based in Bethpage, New York, fell $1.32, or 5.6 percent, to $22.15 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading today amid speculation of its bid.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Bresnan bids earlier today.
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