Private equity groups buying stake in Insight Communications


Insight Communications, the ninth largest cable operator in the US, announced that an investor group led by Crestview Partners and MidOcean Partners has purchased a significant equity position in Insight from certain existing shareholders, including The Carlyle Group. Crestview is the private equity company whose media group is led by cable pioneer Jeff Marcus.
At the conclusion of this transaction, Carlyle and the new investor group each will hold an approximate 42% equity interest in Insight, with the company’s management, employees and certain other shareholders continuing to hold the remaining equity interests. The transactions are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter.

Carlyle and company management acquired Insight in December 2005 in a going-private merger. The MSO recently reported that it had $981 million of revenues in 2009, up 13% over the previous year. Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization was up 10% to $311 million.

“Insight is a company I have long admired, and I have the highest respect for their talented management team. We are proud to become their partners and hope to contribute to their continued success,” said Marcus.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Crestview, Carlyle and Insight management in this investment. We are impressed with Insight’s market positioning and prospects for growth and look forward to bringing our resources and experience in the cable sector to help Insight achieve its strategic objectives,” said Tyler Zachem, Managing Director at MidOcean.

Michael Willner, Insight’s chief executive officer stated, “The investment by Crestview and MidOcean reflects a validation of our strategy for growth. Insight is a robust, healthy company in a dynamic industry. The addition of Crestview’s Jeff Marcus, a hugely successful cable entrepreneur, and MidOcean’s Tyler Zachem will bring new perspectives to our board as we position ourselves for a competitive and vibrant future.”

Insight’s chairman of the board Sidney R. Knafel, certain related holders and CEO Willner will continue to hold a series of shares enabling them to elect a majority of Insight’s board of directors. The transactions will not have an impact on Insight’s day-to-day business operations or its customers. The company’s current management team will remain in place.

As part of the transactions, Insight will offer to purchase certain shares from its existing shareholders at the same price per share as in the Crestview and MidOcean transaction.