Allen contemplates private Charter

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Paul Allen has lost $5.6 billion of the $7.2 billion he put into Charter.
Will he put in a little more to take the cable company private?

That's the big question among fellow cable operators after last week's latest
cable stock dive, triggered by yet more revelations about scandal-plagued MSO
Adelphia.

At current prices, all of Charter's stock is worth just $1.4 billion, and the
Microsoft billionaire already owns 49% of the company. At just $4.47 per
share-off 75% this year-Charter won't be selling equity to the public anytime
soon, and Charter shares are as useless as Argentine pesos as currency in a
stock swap.

If Allen still believes in his 'Wired World' vision, he could get rid of the
headaches of having Charter as a public company.

One industry executive said a buyout is already being actively discussed in
the halls of Allen's Vulcan Ventures.

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