Cable MSO Charter Communications, Inc. begins December as a financially restructured company. The company marked the final day of November by emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Charter, which is controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, filed for federal bankruptcy court protection in March, after reaching agreement with its major creditors on a restructuring plan. The new capital structure reduced the company’s debt by approximately 40%, or $8 billion.
“This successful financial restructuring is a significant accomplishment and makes Charter a stronger company for the benefit of our customers, vendors, employees and the communities we serve,” said Neil Smit, President and CEO. “We have restructured our balance sheet without losing sight of serving our customers and maintaining our business relationships. Charter will remain focused on further enhancing the customer experience and is positioned to generate free cash flow. On behalf of the management team, I would like to thank the more than 16,000 Charter employees across the country for their hard work and dedication throughout this process,” he added.
As previously announced, Charter said it is positioned to generate positive free cash flow through the reduction of more than $830 million in annual interest expense. The current debt of Company subsidiaries CCO Holdings, LLC and Charter Communications Operating, LLC will be reinstated under pre-existing pricing and maturity dates. Charter will receive approximately $1.6 billion in proceeds from an equity rights offering to support the overall refinancing and the reduction of approximately $8 billion of debt. In addition, Charter will exchange existing CCH II notes for approximately $1.7 billion of new 13.5% CCH II notes due 2016. Existing shares of the Company’s common stock have been cancelled.
Paul Allen will continue as an investor, and will retain the largest voting interest in the company. Charter said it intends to apply for listing of its new common stock issued in accordance with the Plan on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC not earlier than 45 days after emergence. Charter filed its Pre-Arranged Plan and Chapter 11 petitions on March 27, 2009.