Cabler gets OK for debt restructure

Cablevision's legal probs come to an end

BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit.

Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of fraud. They wanted full repayment, not the offer of cash — 40¢ for each $1 in debt, lower interest bonds and up to 20% of the company’s equity.

On Monday the judge rejected objections to the deal after finding no “case of fraud or abuse,” adding that its overwhelming acceptance by creditors was reason enough for it to go ahead.

Cablevision, Argentina’s biggest cable company, defaulted on the debt in the wake of the country’s 2001-02 economic crisis and 65% currency devaluation.

This dried up credit, cut revenue, increased costs and led to an 18% loss in subs. A major shareholder — John Malone’s Liberty Media — sold out.

Cabler now is 50% owned by Texan buyout fund Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst; 25% by Fintech Media, a U.S. investment fund managed by Mexican millionaire David Martinez; and 25% by investment group Vistone.

With the debt problems over, the company plans to invest again in marketing, programming and technology to take advantage of a recovering economy to win back subs. It has 1.3 million, below its peak of 1.5 million in 1998-99.

A main thrust of this investment plan is a $220 million, five-year project to digitalize its network. It wants to offer digital TV, faster broadband connections and telephony over its network, which reaches 3.5 million homes, or 35% of the national total. That would boost revenue per subscriber, breaking its reliance on monthly sub fees.

More Biz

  • Aretha Franklin - American Soul Singer

    Aretha Franklin Funeral, Public Viewing Plans Announced

    BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit. Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of […]

  • Stan Lee

    Judge Grants Restraining Order to Protect Stan Lee

    BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit. Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of […]

  • Prince Rogers Nelson

    Prince Estate and Sony Release 23 Long-Unavailable Albums Digitally

    BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit. Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of […]

  • Rosie O'Donnell, Frankie Shaw, David Nevins,

    Showtime Takes Boutique Approach Amid Intense Competition for Talent, Premium TV Viewers

    BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit. Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of […]

  • Ryan Kavanaugh

    Relativity Media Sale to UltraV Holdings Approved by Bankruptcy Judge

    BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit. Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of […]

  • Music Streaming Revenue placeholder

    Fraud Has Become the Latest Hurdle for Music Streaming

    BUENOS AIRES — A federal judge has approved Argentine cabler Cablevision’s $796 million debt restructuring, ending a seven-month legal conflict that threatened to derail the U.S.-backed company’s ability to return to profit. Some 99% of holders of Cablevision debt accepted its restructure terms in November, but a handful of holdouts filed action on allegations of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content