Charter: Please Continue Hold for a Bankruptcy Exit

Charter Communications Inc. looks poised to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy before the end of the year after the judge assigned to the case indicated that he would confirm the latest version of the MSO's reorganization plan. The case is being heard in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Charter could make its exit as early as Nov. 2 and as late as Dec. 15. (See Charter's Chapter 11 Adds a Page.)

Charter, the fourth-largest incumbent U.S. MSO with 5.5 million subs, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, looking to shave $8 billion from its $21.7 billion debt load and obtain more than $3 billion for refinancing and new capital. (See Charter Turns to Chapter 11.)

The pre-arranged plan has hit a few snags along the way, however.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo opposed the prearranged plan, claiming it violates Charter's earlier loan agreements. The judge argued that a debt reinstatement would save the MSO $3 billion, outweighing the $375 million in restitution that's coming to Charter chairman Paul Allen, according to Reuters.

The plan, as approved, will hand over control to a handful of creditors, including Apollo Management AP, Crestview Partners, Oaktree Capital Group, and Franklin Resources. Allen, meanwhile, is expected to maintain a 35 percent voting stake in the St. Louis-based MSO.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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