ST. LOUIS, (SLFP.com) February 28, 2006 – St. Louis-based Charter Communications, Inc. has announced the signing of two separate definitive agreements to sell certain cable television systems serving a total of approximately 549,000 revenue generating units (“RGUs”) including 316,000 analog video, 142,000 digital video and 91,000 high-speed Internet customers, for an aggregate of approximately $896 million.
Charter’s cable systems located in West Virginia and Virginia are being sold to Cebridge Acquisition Co., LLC, while the Company’s systems located in Illinois and Kentucky are being sold to New Wave Communications.
“The sale of these systems is consistent with our strategy to divest of geographically non-strategic assets. We will continue to assess opportunities to optimize our portfolio to enhance overall operating efficiency,” Charter President and CEO Neil Smit said. “Proceeds from this sale will increase the Company’s liquidity for reinvestment in our business for future growth,” he said.
Cebridge Connections is a major operator of cable TV systems, providing basic cable, digital cable, and high-speed Internet services. Today, the company serves approximately 400,000 customers in more than 20 states. Cebridge is run by Cequel III, LLC, a St. Louis-based telecommunications management firm.
New Wave is a cable television provider primarily in small and mid-sized communities in the Midwest and Southeast United States that offers a wide range of products including cable television, high speed data services and telephone service. NewWave currently serves nearly 20,000 customers and is headquartered in Sikeston, Missouri. Wachovia Capital Partners back the company as financial partners. Wachovia Capital Partners is the principal investing arm of Wachovia Corporation and has invested more than $2.7 billion of capital since inception. Waller Capital Corp. assisted NewWave in the acquisition of these properties.
These transactions are subject to customary closing conditions, potential price adjustments and regulatory review. Closings are expected to occur in the third quarter of 2006. Daniels & Associates and JPMorgan Securities Inc. are serving as advisors to Charter for these transactions.
Blunt Joins Other Governors Calling on Automakers to Increase E85 Vehicle Production
ST. LOUIS, (SLFP.com) February 28, 2006 – Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has joined governors from across the country to recognize automakers for producing more flexible fuel vehicles and calling on the auto industry to step up production of even more vehicles that operate on 85 percent ethanol or E85.
“If we are serious about moving away from foreign oil suppliers by increasing ethanol use, the auto industry must continue to stand with us in this effort,” Blunt said in an announcement. “I am pleased to join with other governors today to recognize auto manufacturers for what they have already achieved and to ask them to step up production of E85 vehicles and offer a wider range of ethanol friendly cars that are both affordable and appealing to customers.”
The call to step up production of E85 vehicles follows a meeting of the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition. The group is made up of governors from across the nation who are working together to increase the use of ethanol based fuels, decrease the nation’s dependence on imported energy resources, improve the environment and stimulate the national economy.
Coalition members, including Blunt, presented auto manufacturers with a resolution reiterating their commendation for the 5 million vehicles operating in the United States that are already capable of using E85, calling on automakers to manufacture more vehicles and models capable of operating on E85 and supporting public policy measures that contribute to added infrastructure for the use of E85.
Last week Blunt toured Missouri to highlight his proposal to require all gasoline for motor vehicle use sold in the state to contain 10 percent ethanol (E-10). Minnesota, Montana and Hawaii have already enacted an E-10 requirement.