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TMCNet:  Sale of Suddenlink completed

[December 03, 2012]

Sale of Suddenlink completed

Dec 01, 2012 (Tyler Morning Telegraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Suddenlink Communications announced that its sale for $6.6 billion to two international companies has been completed.

Cequel Communications Holdings, LLC, which does business as Suddenlink, reported that BC Partners and CPP Investment Board, in partnership with Suddenlink's management team led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Kent, have completed the purchase of the company.



When the sale was initially reported in August, representatives said the buyout will not affect jobs, customers, services or operations of the cable provider. The transactions were subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals.

Suddenlink's enterprise value of $6.6 billion includes $1.985 billion of total equity invested by BC Partners, CPP Investment Board, and certain members of Suddenlink management, plus incremental debt of $500 million and assumption of existing net liabilities, according to a prepared statement.

Proceeds were used to acquire the ownership stake of all holders of Suddenlink's preferred and common equity, led by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and including Quadrangle, Oaktree Capital Management, and The Jordan Company.

"The timely closing of this acquisition marks a new and exciting chapter in our company's history," Kent said in a prepared statement. "With fresh, forward-looking capital, new investors, and a talented team of over 6,000 people, we are in a great position to continue serving our customers with excellence and delivering strong operating results." Kent will continue to lead the company.

"This agreement will allow us to continue to invest in our infrastructure, new technology and most importantly, our people," Kent said in August. "We have 6,000 employees who are dedicated to providing a superior level of customer care, and who generate consistent, industry-leading operating results." Pete Abel, senior vice president, corporate communications, said earlier that it is a management-led buyout, which means the current management team will continue to operate the company. He said the sale will have no effect on jobs, customers, services or operations.

Abel said there are more than 1,000 Suddenlink employees in Tyler. Suddenlink, which has corporate headquarters in St. Louis, has two call center facilities in Tyler.

The company employs about 2,900 employees in Texas and about 6,000 nationwide. It is the third-largest company of its kind in Texas, offering cable TV, high-speed Internet, phone, security and other services. Suddenlink is the seventh-largest cable system provider in the country, and has more than 1.4 million residential and commercial customers, primarily in Texas, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. In the 12 months ending March 31, Suddenlink generated $1.96 billion in revenue, the company reported.

BC Partners is a leading private equity firm with advised funds of $16.4 billion. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for 25 years. BC Partners executives operate as an integrated team through its offices in Europe and North America, acquiring and developing businesses to create value in partnership with management, according to a prepared statement.

CPP Investment Board is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan to pay current benefits on behalf of 18 million Canadian contributors and beneficiaries. It invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, inflation-linked bonds, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. The organization's headquarters are in Toronto, with offices in London and Hong Kong.

In connection with the acquisition, a newly formed subsidiary of Suddenlink has entered into a commitment letter with Credit Suisse for $500 million of senior unsecured bridge loans, which will be used to fund a portion of the purchase price, the company reported earlier. Suddenlink will continue to be managed by Cequel.

___ (c)2012 Tyler Morning Telegraph (Tyler, Texas) Visit Tyler Morning Telegraph (Tyler, Texas) at www.tylerpaper.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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