Report: Carlyle cable sale off

Credit market woes cause private equity firm to pull cable unit off market after bidders have trouble raising financing to meet asking price.

NEW YORK ( -- In the latest sign of problems in the credit markets, private equity firm Carlyle Group has indefinitely postponed the sale of a cable company because bidders did not meet its price, according to a published report.

The Washington Post reported the problems in the sale of Insight Communications, which Carlyle Group purchased for about $2.1 billion in 2005. Bidders including Time Warner Cable (Charts), had difficulty getting enough bank financing, according to the report.

Time Warner Cable, the nation's No. 2 cable operator behind Comcast (Charts), is majority-owned by media conglomerate Time Warner (Charts, Fortune 500), which also owns, although the cable unit has 16 percent of its shares traded publicly. Other potential bidders included smaller cable operators and some other private equity firms, including the Blackstone Group (Charts).

Insight, which the Post reports is profitable, has 600,000 subscribers in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and New York. Robin Flynn, a senior analyst with financial research firm SNL Kagan, told the paper she put the value of the company at $2.5 billion. She said it was the financing markets, not problems with the cable operator, that killed the sale.

"It started to become apparent back in August that the deal may not happen," she told the paper. Top of page