Time Warner Cable Holds Off On Spectrum, Stake in Subsidiary

Cable Operator Won’t Participate in Wireless Auction, Nor Will It Buy Out Parent Time Warner’s Stake in TW NY Holding

Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Glenn Britt said Monday morning that the company will not buy out parent Time Warner’s stake in subsidiary TW NY Holding or participate in the upcoming auction of wireless spectrum.

Glenn Britt

Speaking at the UBS Global Media Week and Communications Conference, Britt said the company will not buy out a 12.43% preferred equity stake held by Time Warner in TW NY Holding.

In September, Time Warner Cable formed a committee to consider any proposal by the parent to sell its stake, which was valued at $2.9 billion in April 2005. According to Britt, Time Warner recently said that “at current values, they are not interested in selling that stake.” Britt said the decision should be taken as a positive statement about how Time Warner sees the cable industry.

Time Warner Cable -- which earlier this year made a bid for cable operator Insight Communications -- will continue to consider acquisitions, Britt said.

Britt also said the company will not participate in the upcoming 700-megahertz spectrum auction. Those companies that will participate had to state their interest by today, as Google did Friday.

“The question has been do consumers, will consumers want to buy cell-phone service from the people they buy the triple-play from?” Britt said, noting the cable operator’s market testing with Sprint Nextel. “So far, we have not seen great demand for that.”