AUSTIN, Texas – Classic Communications Inc., a cable television operator, went public December 8, offering 8.25 million shares at $25 apiece. The company’s stock priced at the top of its $23 to $25 filing range.
Underwritten by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the initial public offering left 17 million shares outstanding.
There were no selling shareholders. Brera Capital Partners, BP Capital Partners Inc., Austin Ventures LP, BA Capital Company LP, UnionBanCal Venture Corp., Texas Growth Fund and Fidelity Summer Street Trust: Fidelity Capital & Income Fund were venture backers.
The company provides cable television services to business and residential customers in non-metropolitan areas of the United States and has grown through more than 20 acquisitions, primarily in Texas and neighboring states. The systems are being upgraded to provide digital cable and high-speed Internet access, in addition to basic, premium and pay-per-view programming.
The $166.4 million in proceeds expected from the IPO will be used to finance part of an upcoming acquisition and to repay debt.
Classic Communications has never been profitable, losing $14.1 million in 1997 and $30.9 million in 1998.
Lisa Hook and David Webb, principals at Brera Capital, joined the company’s board of directors in 1999. Jeffrey Garvey, a general partner at Austin, joined the board in November 1999.
Classic Communications – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Year Ended December 31 Classic Communications – Selected Financial
Nine Months Ended September 30
1996 1997 1998 1998 1999
Total revenue 59,821 60,995 69,802 50,404 72,391
Net loss -13,166 -14,129 -30,863 -22,531 -42,964
Net loss per share -7.3 -7.53 -13.55 -10.53 -9.28