Paul Allen’s Charter might not be Paul Allen’s after all

March 20, 2009

Paul Allen, the billionaire who made his money as co-founder of Microsoft, might no longer be the largest individual owner of cable company Charter Communications after it emerges from bankruptcy by April 1.

According to a story broken by Reuters on Thursday private equity firm Apollo Group is planning to take economic ownership of Charter. Allen will retain a 35 percent voting control as had previously been announced. 

Under Allen’s watch as chairman, Charter spent billions of dollars acquiring smaller cable systems across the United States, running up a pile of crippling debt in the process. That debt load led to the company announcing last month that it has agreed a pre-packaged bankruptcy deal with senior creditors which will be filed any day now.

Allen has a spotty track record with his many investments, which range from middling NBA basketball team Portland Trail Blazers to online retailer Value America. But as this AP profile piece notes Charter may be his biggest disappointment.

Keep an eye on:

  • Blockbuster swung to fourth-quarter net loss due to a  writedown (WSJ)
  • Apple iTunes offers feature films in HD (Hollywood Reporter/Reuters)
  • Samsung launches movies to mobiles service (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

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