Cablevision heads off AT&T stock sale

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Cablevision Systems Corp. chilly relationship with AT&T is getting even icier, with Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan refusing a request by its largest shareholder to prep a sale of some Cablevision shares.

The MSO notified AT&T over the weekend that it would not register any of the telco's 48 million Cablevision shares. AT&T is seeking to register 30 million of the shares, which would make it easier to sell the shares directly or use them as the foundation of some sort of equity-backed bond or derivatve security.

Cablevision Systems Vice Chairman Bill Bell would not explain why the request was denied. But it's clear that registering the shares raises that prospect of AT&T dumping millions of shares into the open market, Even if that is far from AT&T's plan, any looming theat of that many shares coming to market would dampen Cablevision's share price for months. - John Higgins

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