US West makes new inroads into cable television market
Saturday 16 July 1994
The move accelerates the advance of the 'Baby Bells' into the cable business and challenges the BellSouth telephone company on its home turf.
The two - Wometco and Georgia Cable Television - belonged to the Texas investor Robert Bass and his family. Together they serve around 466,000 households.
US West has been the most aggressive of all the Baby Bells in moving into the entertainment and cable businesses. Last year it paid dollars 2.5bn for a 25.5 per cent stake in Time Warner Entertainment with the aim of developing full service networks.
Its chairman, Richard McCormick, said that although Time Warner was not involved in the acquisition of the two cable companies it would be a strategic partner offering programming and other expertise in developing them. Time Warner is the second-largest cable operator in the US.
The model for US West's push into cable is its British operation, where it has the TeleWest joint venture with Tele-Communications, the biggest US cable systems operator. TeleWest now has 252,000 cable customers and 182,000 phone lines in Britain.
Atlanta is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the US and one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The systems being bought are also attractive because they are highly clustered.
Bell Cablemedia, one of the largest British cable television operations, is raising dollars 479m through a public offering in the US and UK and the issue of senior debt notes. The shares will be traded on Nasdaq but the company hopes to seek a full listing in London.
After completion Bell Cablemedia, valued at around dollars 1bn, will be owned 42.2 per cent by Bell Canada, with Cable and Wireless owning 12.5 per cent.
Jones, a US cable group, will have 14.1 per cent of the new company after reversing its cable interests into the group. Part of the proceeds will be used to fund Bell Cablemedia's cable telephone and television franchises in Britain.
- 1 Should Apple buy Greece?
- 2 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 3 Drummer Lee Rigby's family reject 'extremist' groups using Woolwich murder for political gain
- 4 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 5 Fox News anchor asks 'what's to prevent' three people from marrying after same-sex marriage legalised
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
iJobs Money & Business
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...
Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...
Competitive (Freelance) : Guru Careers: An Investment Writer / Stock Picker is...