NEW YORK -- The family that controls Cablevision Systems Corp. is offering to take the cable TV provider private, marking the latest dramatic turn for a company riven by a family feud.
Cablevision would also spin off its lucrative cable channels -- AMC, IFC, and WE -- into a new company called Rainbow Media Holdings that would include several regional sports networks, Madison Square Garden and the sports teams that play there, the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers.
Cablevision's chief executive, James Dolan, who had sided with board members in opposing a satellite venture championed by his father, Charles Dolan, the chairman, would head the Rainbow unit. Charles Dolan would continue as Cablevision chairman.
The Dolan family, which controls the company through a special class of supervoting shares, unveiled the proposed transaction yesterday. Cablevision shareholders would receive $21 per share in cash as well as stock in Rainbow estimated to be worth $12.50 per share. The combined value of $33.50 per share, or a total of $7.9 billion, represents a 25 percent premium over Friday's closing price.
Cablevision would be the second major cable TV company to go private recently. In October Cox Enterprises Inc. of Atlanta bought out public shareholders in its cable TV unit, Cox Communications.
Cablevision sued to block development of a stadium and convention center in Manhattan that would have competed with its Madison Square Garden. The company mounted a bitter campaign against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- after Cablevision's own bid to develop the land was rejected.