Argentine MSOs plan stock offers

Multicanal, CableVision to go public

BUENOS AIRES — Following a massive spending spree that has seen the Argentine cable market consolidate around two players, both MSOs are planning initial public offerings.

Clarin-owned Multicanal plans to enter the New York and Buenos Aires stock exchanges, with JP Morgan, Bank of Boston and Credit Suisse/First Boston as agents, and reportedly hopes to raise $500 million.

Multicanal has 1.4 million cable homes in Argentina, a 20% stake in 400,000-sub MSO Supercanal, and another 200,000 subs in systems in Uruguay and Paraguay.

No. 2 MSO CableVision, part-owned by TCI Intl., is said to be prepping an IPO with Banque Societe Generale. CableVision is owned by Argentine investor group CEI and Spanish telco Telefonica as well as TCI Intl. and has around 1.5 million subs.

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