Carlyle makes bid for Insight cable

The Carlyle Group is partnering with New York-based Insight Communications executives in a bid to take private the public cable provider in a $650m deal.

Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group has announced a plan to acquire the outstanding publicly held shares of Insight Communications Company for $10.70 (€8.12) per share. The proposal, in conjunction with Insight co-founders Sidney Knafel and Michael Willner, would create an acquiring entity called New Insight LLC.  

In a statement, Michael Connelly, managing director of The Carlyle Group, said the private equity firm’s “commitment to this transaction demonstrates Carlyle’s confidence in Insight’s management and the US cable television business”.

Insight, through a partnership with Comcast, is the ninth largest cable operator in the US, with 1.3 million customers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The price offered for the outstanding equity is 11 percent over Friday’s closing stock price and 17 percent over the six-month average closing price. The proposal values the company at approximately $650 million (€493 million), with the company’s debt remaining outstanding.

The controlling shareholders said they expect the Board of Directors to form a special committee to evaluate the offer, adding that approval from the shareholders, as well as the committee, would be needed. Knafel and Willner own around 14 percent of the equity in Insight and 62 percent of the vote.

The Carlyle Group has more than $24.5 billion under management, with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

In February, the firm announced that it returned $5.3 billion to limited partners in 2004 through 71 partial and full exits. In 2004, Carlyle invested $2.7 billion in 107 global investments, including participation in the US consortium acquisitions of cinema chain Loews Cineplex for $1.5 billion and satellite operator PanAmSat Corporation.