Friday, January 16, 2009

Charter Has Not Learned from Nortel Lessons

Bloomberg reports that Charter Communications, which as we noted, did not pay its Jan. 15 interest payment and has hired Rick Cieri and his mega-bankruptcy law firm Kirkland and Ellis... What boggles is why the company has hired Lazard as financial advisor after their deplorable failure to procure a DIP loan for Nortel, leading to its Chapter 11 filing. The 3rd largest cable company in the U.S. , which serves some 5.5 million soon to be TV-less customers in 27 states, will imminently provide a variety of "diligence" trips for Lazard to its St. Louis headquarters, although according to this the A-list bankers will undoubtedly prefer to be staffed on the Nortel deal. And, as we expected, Charter will file with a boatload of cash, a little over $900 million to mitigate for the lack of interim bankruptcy funding.

Charter, whose chairman and biggest shareholder (don't mean much when the stock trades at 12 cents) is Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has never been profitable since going public 10 years ago.

Other advisors who will join the vulture-fest, are financial advisors Houlihan Lokey and Miller Buckfire, advising bondholders and Paul Allen, respectively.

With over $16 billion in debt and a lot of pissed off bondholders, this will likely be one messy bankruptcy.
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