Charter Will Gain Approximately 547,000 Customers
ST. LOUIS, MO, MAY 26, 1999 - Charter Communications, Inc., a Wired World Company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire cable television systems owned by Fanch Communications, Inc. headquartered in Denver, CO. Charter's purchase is being acquired from Blackstone Capital Partners II Merchant Banking Fund LP, Blackstone Capital Partners III Merchant Banking Fund LP, Narragansett Capital Partners, and certain affiliates of Fanch Communications, Inc. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed and are subject to regulatory and corporate approvals.
The acquisition of Fanch will add approximately 547,000 cable customers to Charter's existing base of approximately 4.9 million customers. Approximately 308,000 of the Fanch customers are located in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. With Charter's previously announced acquisitions of Helicon and Rifkin, Charter will have more than 400,000 customers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The 70,000 customers in Michigan will complement the 230,000 customers to be acquired in the recently announced Avalon transaction. Charter will also add approximately 70,000 customers to its operations in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Wisconsin.
Jerald L. Kent, President and CEO of Charter Communications, said, "The Fanch Communications systems have the foundation for both digital cable and broadband and are quality additions to the Wired World Paul Allen and Charter are building. The geographic overlap of these locations are a great fit with our existing operations." The acquisition increases Charter's subscriber base to more than 5.5 million making it the 4th largest operator of cable television systems in the United States.
Robert C. Fanch, Chairman of Fanch Communications, Inc., said "We are very proud of the properties our management team has assembled over the past three years, which will form the heart of Charter's presence in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan."
Mark T. Gallogly, a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group, said, "Blackstone has enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Bob Fanch and Time Warner Cable. These systems are a great fit for Charter. I believe the Charter team will successfully take them to the next level of interactivity."
Richard H. Patterson, Partner, Waller Capital, represented Fanch in the transaction.
Charter, a Wired World company, is among the country's leading broadband communications companies. Following the close of all pending transactions, Charter will serve approximately 5.5 million customers. Charter was ranked as the eighth fastest growing company in the United States by Inc. magazine on its 1998 Inc. 500 list. J.D. Power & Associates survey of cable customers ranked Charter among the top three companies based on quality of service in 1998. Charter offers an array of services including cable television under the Charter brand; high speed Internet access via Charter Pipeline™; advanced digital video programming services under the Charter Digital Cable™ brand and Charter Paging™. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Charter was acquired by Paul G. Allen in 1998. More information about Charter can be accessed on the Internet at www.chartercom.com.
The Blackstone Group is a private investment bank based in New York City. It was founded in 1985 by its Chairman, Peter G. Peterson, and its President and CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman.
Blackstone is a leader in private equity investing, and is currently in the process of investing its Blackstone Capital Partners III fund, which represents approximately $4 billion of equity capital. Blackstone has made numerous investments in cable and communications businesses, often in a corporate partnership format with large communications corporations as well as with regional operators. The Blackstone Group is also engaged in five other business areas including Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory, Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory, Private Equity Real Estate Investing, Mezzanine Finance, and Liquid Alternative Asset Investing.