Dolans Offer $7.9 Billion for Cablevision

Shares of the cable company surge on the takeover bid.
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surged in Monday's premarket session after its controlling Dolan family confirmed an offer to take the company private for about $7.9 billion.

The bid includes $21 a share in cash plus shares of a spun-off company comprising various cable networks worth an additional $12.50 a share. On Instinet, the stock rose toward the $33.50 combined value, recently adding $6.47, or 24%, to $33.34.

Cablevision's board will form an independent committee to evaluate the offer. The Dolan family owns about 20% of the company's common stock and controls 71% of the company via a special class of stock.

Under the transaction outlined in a letter to the board, Cablevision would spin off a company that includes cable networks such as AMC and IFC as well as its regional sports networks, Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and Rangers and various other properties. Existing shareholders would get a proportional interest in the content and sports unit.

"We strongly believe that a long-term, entrepreneurial management perspective -- not constrained by the public markets' tendency to focus on short-term results -- will better enable the cable company to meet its competitive challenges," the Dolans said in a release. "We are prepared to shoulder the risks of full ownership and are confident the company will achieve success."

The Cablevision offer comes amid a flurry of going-private transactions over the past year, both in and out of the cable industry. Cox Enterprises bought Cox Communications from public shareholders last year for $8.5 billion, while companies as diverse as

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have agreed to deals.