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Charter Ready to Rock the Vote

2:15 PM -- Charter Communications Inc. 's plans to emerge from a "pre-arranged" bankruptcy jumped over a big hurdle today when a New York court approved the "disclosure statement" and gave the debt-riddled MSO the green light to start soliciting votes for the big reorg. (See Court OKs Charter 'Disclosure Statement'.)

Charter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 27, aiming to trim $8 billion from its $21 billion debt load, and make way for another $3 billion it can apply toward refinancing and new capital. (See Charter Turns to Chapter 11, Charter Plan Could Pay Execs $24M, and Charter's Next Chapter.)

The court has set the voting deadline for June 15, 2009, for eligible stakeholders. The court has likewise scheduled a hearing on July 20, 2009, to consider confirmation of Charter's pre-arranged bankruptcy plan.

Confirmation of the plan is not a slam dunk, as it's come under some fire in recent weeks. For example, the U.S. Trustee overseeing the matter is critical of the plan to exempt former execs, directors, and other affiliated parties from potential lawsuits involving securities law violations. Allegations are also flying that Charter chairman Paul Allen had a conflict of interest in developing the plan, which allows him to retain 35 percent voting in the company after it emerges from the bankruptcy muck. (See Cable Catchup.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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