If they haven't thrown in the towel yet at
, they certainly should be looking for it in the linen closet.
The cable television operator, entangled in a mess of undisclosed debts and related party dealings, was teetering on the edge of a bankruptcy filing Friday following the announcements of loan defaults and an imminent delisting from the Nasdaq.
Things aren't even looking good for Adelphia on the corporate governance front, either, with a newly appointed board member already sparring openly with the rest of the directors over the financial tactics the company is using in an attempt to fight itself out of the corner into which it's been backed.
On Friday morning, Adelphia's shares, down 96% since the battering began in late March, fell 27 cents to trade at 89 cents apiece.
The latest in a never-ending stream of bad news for Adelphia, controlled until recently by the Rigas family of Coudersport, Pa., came Friday morning with the company's announcement that it and its subsidiaries had defaulted on certain credit agreements because of its failure to deliver financial statements. These "events of default," says Adelphia, entitle lenders to accelerate repayment of their debt "and exercise other remedies."
That puts further pressure on Adelphia to come up with money it doesn't appear to have on hand. Earlier this month, the company skipped $44.8 million in scheduled interest payments and preferred stock dividends. The company has been trying to shore up its balance sheet by selling cable systems covering nearly half of its 5.8 million subscribers, but Adelphia hasn't cut any deals yet.
Adelphia, whose longtime auditor is Deloitte & Touche, still hasn't filed its financial statements for 2001. The audit was suspended as the company -- from which Rigas family members resigned their executive positions and board seats earlier this month -- tries to sort out, among other issues, the morass of the intermixed finances of Adelphia and the Rigases.
Separately, the Nasdaq announced Thursday evening that it will delist Adelphia, based on its failure to file its financials with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
As Adelphia said last week, the delisting will require it to buy back $1.4 billion of convertible shares -- more pressure on the company's treasury.
As if all this weren't bad enough, the company got an angry letter Thursday from Leonard Tow, a major Adelphia shareholder who received Adelphia stock when he sold cable TV systems to Adelphia, but has seen the value of that stock plummet.
In the letter, filed at the SEC, Tow expresses fear that the company will quickly sell what he calls the company's "most valuable cable properties" before he and other board members have an opportunity to pass judgment on any deal at a board meeting scheduled for Saturday.
Tow's letter got a prickly response from Adelphia Chairman and acting CEO Erkie Kailbourne, who said in his own public letter that Tow had already been told that no transaction would be done before the board meeting.