Ailing Charter Communications Inc. has hired investment banker Lazard Fréres & Co. LLC to
restructure its $18 billion in debt and to prevent a
looming financial crisis from getting more desperate.
Industry executives said Lazard's assignment is to prod investors into
exchanging existing Charter bonds for far less money and possibly some equity in
Investors have been expecting Charter to craft a prepackaged bankruptcy
Instead of seeking shelter at its most desperate hour -- as Adelphia Communications Corp. did
-- a company negotiates deals with banks and bondholders before heading for
bankruptcy court, paying 10 cents to 80 cents on the dollar plus some equity in a
Charter said it would not comment on rumor and speculation.