US cable giant Cablevision may spin off business units

Nine months after shareholders rejected a takeover, Cablevision Systems is considering several options to boost its stock price including spinning off some of its diverse holdings.

An Associated Press report further quoted CEO James Dolan, who has long argued the market undervalues Cablevision, as saying that the company is 'actively looking' at options to close the gap between the company's operating performance and the market value of its shares.

Cablevision said its board has also authorized it to explore making stock buybacks or pay quarterly dividends. The company is considered one of the strongest cable franchises in the country and also owns several cable networks and Madison Square Garden.

Cablevision's market capitalization stood at around €5.4 billion (US$8.5 billion) and it had about €7.7 billion (US$12 billion) in debt as of the end of June, according to Moody's Investors Service.

The Dolan family controls Cablevision through a special class of shares and has tried to take the company private several times in the past few years.

Those attempts have all failed, some amid family fighting between James Dolan and his father Charles, who at one point aired family grievances on the pages of New York tabloids.

Cablevision did not say which of its businesses it would consider selling. Analysts consider its cable franchise, which serves the affluent New York area, one of the best-run in the business. The unit is the country's fifth-largest cable system and accounts for 75% of company revenue. It includes high-speed internet and phone services that have helped beat back competition from phone companies and satellite TV operators.