Comcast and Time Warner are expected to make a joint offer by Monday to buy bankrupt cable operator Adelphia Communications Corp., according to published reports.
Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable-television operator with 21.5 million subscribers, and second-ranked Time Warner Inc., with 10.9 million, have been working together since last fall to make a bid for Adelphia’s 5.3 million subscribers.
Industry executives told the Los Angeles Times for Saturday’s editions that they expected the bid to be $14 billion to $15 billion, far short of the $17.5 billion sought by Adelphia bondholders.
The bid plans were also reported Saturday by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler declined to comment Saturday, and Adelphia spokesman Paul Jacobson said “the bidding process is confidential” and he would have no comment.
Many of Adelphia’s cable systems are contiguous to Comcast and Time Warner entities, making them appealing from a business standpoint.
Comcast and Time Warner could also use a successful bid to help Comcast withdraw from the 21 percent ownership stake in Time Warner Cable it inherited when it bought AT&T Broadband in 2002.
Monday is the deadline for bidding on the beleaguered company. William T. Schleyer, Adelphia’s chief executive officer, has said the company hopes to act on bids by the end of the first quarter. The company could also reject the bids and try to emerge from bankruptcy without a sale.
Based in Greenwood Village, Colo., Adelphia filed for bankruptcy in 2002 after founder John Rigas and others were accused of looting the company and cheating investors out of billions of dollars.
Rigas and his son Timothy were later convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud and securities fraud. They face lengthy prison terms when they are sentenced Feb. 23.
Adelphia filed its long-awaited reorganization plan last February but then began exploring a possible sale at the urging of creditors and stockholders.
Adelphia has subscribers in 31 states and Puerto Rico.