Dolans to Sell Cablevision?

Sep.15.09 | About: Cablevision Systems (CVC)

The Dolan family has tried on three occasions to take Cabelvision Systems Corp. (NYSE:CVC) private but failed. So would the Dolan family ever let go of their much beloved Cablevision? According to a feature in Barron's, it is a very real possibility.

The article suggests that the country's fifth-largest cable company could be an attractive takeover target now that it has decided to spin off its Madison Square Garden unit, which includes the New York arena, MSG Television Network, and the National Hockey League's New York Rangers and National Basketball Association's Knicks. Barron's says that a spinoff of MSG would make Cablevision's balance sheet much more attractive to both Wall Street investors and potential acquirers, Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC).

Additionally, Comcast could return to an acquisitive mode now that a court ruling has freed it from a government cap on how many cable networks it can control. Meanwhile, TWC is now free to explore acquisitions too since it no longer has to answer back to former parent Time Warner. However, don't expect the Dolans to part with their company soon as Barron's says such a sale is a few years out.

- Matthew Wurtzel