Charter buys in some bonds


Charter Communications Inc. wants to fix some looming debt problems by buying in some bonds at a 20% discount.

The MSO disclosed a $1.7 billion junk-bond-refinancing deal last week, planning to sell senior notes through several subsidiaries, then to use most of the cash for bonds coming due in 2005 and 2006.

The upside for Charter is that it hopes to retire the old bonds at 73-82 cents on the dollar.

The deal reduces Charter’s $20 billion in outstanding debt by just a few hundred million dollars, but it addresses high-cost bonds that mature soonest, delaying maturity “bullets” facing the company.

The tender offer expires Aug. 8.