MARCH 23,1999-- ST. LOUIS, MO-Charter Communications, a Wired World Company, today announced plans to acquire Helicon Cable Communications. Helicon serves approximately 171,000 customers in Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana. Purchase price for the privately held company is $550 million. Helicon has been in business for more than 20 years and is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Theodore B. Baum is the Chairman, CEO and principal stockholder
"Helicon has done a good job of technologically supporting its customers," said Jerald L. Kent, Charter President and CEO. "The company has made substantial investments to upgrade all of their properties and we are pleased that Charter will be gaining these strong systems. We will build upon this platform to bring the Wired World to these customers."
Charter, owned by investor Paul G. Allen, has significant operations in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Louisiana. The addition of customers in those states is consistent with Charter's clustering strategy.
"This is a calculated acquisition process," said Jerald L. Kent. "Our acquisitions over the past few months are part of building Charter strategically and fits into our overall business plans. We continue to build our clusters and gain critical mass to amortize our technology costs over a larger base," said Kent.
Waller Capital represented Helicon in the transaction.
Theodore B. Baum, Chairman of the Board, CEO and principal stockholder of Helicon said, "I've had a great run over the past 35 years. As I watch the rebirth of the cable industry into one of broadband technology, I feel confident that Paul Allen's vision and Charter's skills will benefit all of our employees and customers."
Charter Communications, a Wired World Company, was founded in 1993 and has achieved customer growth that is twice the industry average. Headquartered in St. Louis, the company was ranked as the eighth fastest growing company in the country by Inc. magazine for its 1998 Inc. 500 list. Charter was acquired by investor and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen in later 1998 and is in the process of combining with Marcus Cable.