Cablevision tunes out Dolan bid

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Cablevision Systems said Tuesday that it has rejected an enhanced bid from the Dolan family to purchase the company for $8.9 billion, presumably putting an end to the latest chapter of an ongoing struggle to take the company private.

A Special Transaction Committee, which must approve any offer from the Dolans to purchase the 80% of Cablevision shares that they don't already own, called the latest offer of $30 per share "inadequate."

The Dolan Family Group made the offer last week, and it was set to expire at the end of business today. In October, the Dolans offered $27 a share for the company, about a 13% premium to where shares traded at that time.

When that offer was rejected, the Dolans upped it by $3 per share, or $1 billion, which they argued was fair because it valued each subscriber at about $4,750, in line with similar transactions within the cable industry.

The Dolans called the $30 bid their "best and final" offer, language the Cablevision special committee repeated in a letter to the Dolans dated Tuesday.

Since the revised offer "is your best and final price," the committee wrote in their letter to Charles and James Dolan, "we welcome the opportunity to continue to work with you, the other directors and management of the company with the objective of further enhancing the value of the company and maximizing value to the company's public shareholders."

Charles Dolan is founder and board chairman of Cablevision, and James Dolan is president and CEO. The Dolans also failed with a bid to take the company private two years ago.

"The revised offer," Tuesday's letter states, "does not represent fair value for the company's public shareholders nor does it contemplate a transaction that is in their best interest."

Shares of Cablevision closed 10 cents higher Tuesday at $28.49, though the letter from the committee was made public after Wall Street's closing bell.
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