The Cox Communications (COX) board formed a special panel to consider a take-private bid from the company's controlling shareholder.

The Atlanta-based cable operator said late Tuesday that the panel will comprise independent directors Janet Clarke, Rodney Schrock and Andrew Young. The panel hired Goldman Sachs and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson to evaluate a $7.9 billion bid from closely held media giant Cox Enterprises.

That proposal, valued at $32 a share in cash, set off a

sharp rally in Cox and a milder upswing in cable rivals when it was unveiled Aug. 2. Cox shares have traded above the offer in recent weeks, perhaps signaling that Wall Street expects the pot to be sweetened before a deal is completed.

Early Wednesday, Cox climbed 2 cents to $32.80.