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Adelphia files plan to exit bankruptcy

But some holders prefer assets sale

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- Bankrupt cable TV operator Adelphia Communications Corp. filed its long-awaited reorganization plan yesterday and ran into immediate opposition from stockholders who prefer to see the company liquidated.

The nation's fifth-largest cable television company said it has secured $8.8 billion in exit financing from four banks and hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of the year.

Chief executive Bill Schleyer called it a "milestone" day for the company that filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago amid allegations that its founder and other executives looted the company and cheated investors out of billions of dollars.

Adelphia founder John Rigas, two of his sons and another former executive have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and fraud. Jury selection in their trial began this week.

The Rigas family would get nothing under the reorganization plan, filed in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The plan, which requires the OK of the court and certain claimholders, could offer full recovery to Adelphia's unsecured creditors and holders of its senior notes through a litigation trust and by offering them new shares.

However, a committee of equity interests, representing stockholders, said it would continue work on its own proposal to sell off the company's assets.

The committee said Adelphia could fetch $23 billion if sold -- far more than the company's own valuation of $17 billion, excluding minority interests. It also said Schleyer will get a $10 million restricted stock award once the company emerges from bankruptcy, a bonus he likely would not receive if the company is sold off for cash.

Adelphia's cable properties include franchises in 36 Massachusetts cities and towns that serve 140,000 TV subscribers, including clusters on Cape Ann, Martha's Vineyard, southern Plymouth County, and parts of Berkshire County.

Schleyer said earlier the company would be financially ready to emerge from bankruptcy in the second quarter of this year.

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