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Cablevision Said to Explore Sale of Bresnan Unit

Cablevision Systems Corp. is exploring a sale of its Bresnan Broadband Holdings LLC unit after acquiring the northwestern U.S. cable system in 2010, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The sale discussions are preliminary and no investment banks have been hired to advise on a deal yet, the person said, who asked not to be named because negotiations are private.

Cablevision, the fifth-largest U.S. cable company by subscribers, bought Bresnan from Providence Equity Partners Inc. in December 2010 for $1.37 billion, giving it access to states including Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. The company may be looking to sell as it spends more money on New York-area systems to increase customers’ broadband speeds and after several cable companies, including Knology Inc. and WaveDivision Holdings LLC, have found private buyers this year.

Potential suitors for Bresnan include Time Warner Cable Inc., Suddenlink Communications and Charter Communications Inc., the person said. Charter’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Rutledge was Cablevision’s former chief operating officer.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the company was weighing a sale of Bresnan.

Charlie Schueler, a spokesman for the Bethpage, New York-based company, said yesterday it was Cablevision’s policy “not to comment on rumors or speculation.”

Cablevision’s shares closed up 1.1 percent to $16.91 in New York trading yesterday, taking its gain for the year to 19 percent.

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