NEW YORK — Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan said in an SEC filing Thursday that he plans to deposit with the company a bundle of cash and his own Cablevision stock to be used to fund Voom’s operations as he works out a deal to buy the controversial satellite service outright.
The cash will be drawn down first, then the stock (first Class A, then supervoting Class B shares), Dolan said, to finance Voom beyond costs that would have been incurred by shutting it down. Charles’ son and Cablevision CEO James Dolan had planned to shutter the service and already inked a deal to sell Voom’s satellite to EchoStar.
But dad Dolan badly wants to keep the package of high-def channels and is trying to raise funding to buy the service personally, together with another son, Tom. He has 23 days to strike a deal.
Good governance news
Analyst Richard Greenfield sees Thursday’s news as positive from a governance perspective as it shows that Cablevision’s newly rejiggered board is not “rubber stamping” Chuck’s decisions or allowing him to skirt the costs of his latest adventure.
He thinks it also shows that the elder Dolan is ready and willing to swap Cablevision for Voom. Many Wall Streeters are hoping that Charles Dolan, who controls Cablevision through a class of voting stock, will opt to put the company on the block. Time Warner is seen as the likeliest buyer.
The current agreement will terminate on March 31 or may be ended by Charles at any earlier time. Upon termination, Charles would take back all the unused shares.
Cablevision shares, which have been buffeted by the Dolan drama and the Voom saga, closed at $28.97 Thursday, down 0.86%.