It took four attempts by the Dolan family to come up with a bid to buy out other shareholders and take Cablevision private that won a thumbs up from the company’s independent directors (5/3/07 TVBR #87). But it now appears the 10.6 billion bucks offer is no slam dunk. Mario Gabelli, whose Gamco Investors owns an 8.3% stake, has stated in an SEC filing that he will vote against the deal, preferring to hold onto Cablevision’s shares because the price, at 36.26 per share, is too low. Even more importantly, Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) has advised its big money clients to reject the offer. It notes that appraisals from two investment banks valued Cablevision at 42.82 and 50 bucks. With Gabelli and a couple of other major shareholders, in all holding about 20% of the shares, indicating that they will vote no at the October 24th special meeting, the buyout deal looks to be in trouble. The Dolans themselves will not be able to vote their 20% stake.
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