Cablevision Prepays Some Debts

Cablevision ( CVC) says it has purchased $951.8 million of its proposed $1.4 billion debt due this year in an early buyback offer.

The debt buyback comes just days after the Bethpage, N.Y. cable shop appeared to be treading water after it posted mixed fourth quarter results amid a difficult debt refinancing environment.

Offering a slight premium to its loan holders, ahead of the debt repayment deadlines in April, July and August, the Bethpage, N.Y., cable shop says it paid off 39.3%, 89.8% and 76.7% of the respective notes.

Cablevision had $11.99 billion in total debt and $323 million in cash on hand as of the end of last year, according the company's annual report filed last week. On Tuesday, Cablevision entered a $2.4 billion credit facility using about $1.3 billion of the proceeds to repay old loans.

The early tender offer ended Feb. 27. The company said it paid a premium of .025%, or $2.50 on every $1,000 of the April note it retired, a premium of 2.28%, or $22.80 on the July note and 2.76%, or $27.60 on the August note.

Last week, the company said it plans to stop offering free access to its Newsday stories online. The strategy highlights efforts to find new sources of sales as advertising revenue dwindles. And in Cablevision's case, offering Newsday.com access to its subscribers is seen as a new way to keep local news-hungry customers from switching TV service to other providers like Verizon ( VZ), AT&T ( T), Dish Network ( DISH) or DirecTV ( DTV).

Cablevision shares fell 8% amid a widespread market selloff Monday.

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