With several parties expressing “unsolicited interest,” Cablevision CEO James Dolan said the company is considering a sale of its Western U.S. operations, which it acquired less than two years ago. The former Bresnan Communications business, with about 300,000 customers, operates in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
Dolan said on an earnings call Tuesday that the company is “confident in the prospects for growth” at what is known as Optimum West and “pleased with our progress to date” after the $1.4 billion acquisition.
“While it has not been our intention to divest this valuable asset, based on the approaches that we received, we have decided to explore a potential transaction,” Dolan said.
In the July-September quarter, Optimum West added about 1,500 video subscribers, while Cablevision as a whole lost about 10,000.
Asked whether Cablevision might sell its principal business (Optimum East), Dolan said: “Do you hear those chuckles in the background?” Later, he said the focus is on improving operations.
Separately, Superstorm Sandy still has left about 535,000 Cablevision customers without power in the New York area and CFO Gregg Seibert said the impact on business could be “significant.”