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Investors can cable Allen cash via Charter stocks

IPO set at $19

Stock in Charter Communications, the giant cable company assembled by Paul Allen, will begin trading on the Nasdaq market today.

The 170 million shares of the company’s initial public offering were priced Monday at $19 per share, giving the company a market value of $3.23 billion.

Goldman Sachs Group, the investment bank that led the sale, initially priced the securities at $17 to $19 per share. The sale at the high end of the range may indicate a strong demand for Charter shares.

Allen, co-founder with Bill Gates of Microsoft, is turning to the public to help finance and pay down debt stemming from $13 billion in cable system acquisitions that Charter has announced this year.

Allen, who said he will make an additional personal $750 million investment, will retain control of Charter through his ownership of Class B shares, which have more voting power than the Class A shares that are being offered to the public.