Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC) hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C) to seek buyers for its Bresnan Broadband Holdings LLC unit acquired in 2010, said two people familiar with the situation.
The process is at a very early stage and no deadline has been set for the first round of bids, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private.
Cablevision, the fifth-largest U.S. cable company by subscribers, bought Bresnan from Providence Equity Partners Inc. almost two years ago for $1.37 billion, gaining operations in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. The company is weighing a sale after fellow cable operators such as Knology Inc. and WaveDivision Holdings LLC, agreed to takeovers by buyout firms this year.
Cablevision shares rose 2.9 percent to $14.02 at the close in New York, after earlier advancing as much as 18 percent on the report. They have dropped 7.7 percent in the past 12 months.
Charles Schueler, a spokesman for Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision, declined to comment, as did representatives at Citigroup and JPMorgan.
Possible suitors for Bresnan include Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR), Suddenlink Communications and private-equity firms, said the same people. Representatives at Suddenlink and Charter declined to comment.
Bloomberg reported Bresnan, now known as Optimum West, was for sale last month. Chief Executive Officer James Dolan said Cablevision had received “unsolicited interest in possibly acquiring Optimum West” without going into further specifics in a conference call earlier this month.
“While it has not been our intention to divest this valuable asset, based on the approaches that we received we have decided to explore a potential transaction,” Dolan said.
There is no assurance a transaction will take place, Chief Financial Officer Gregg Seibert said on the same call.