The future of US family business Cablevision appears uncertain, following the unexpected departure of a important staff member and a major fall in share price.
Tom Rutledge, chief operating officer, announced last week that he would leave the company, which is controlled by the Dolan family, sparking an 8.5% fall in share price on Friday (16 December).
Family member James Dolan, Cablevision’s chief executive officer, credited Rutledge with applying “operational excellence” and “technological vision” to drive results at the New York-based company over his 10-year career.
However, his departure and the ongoing fall in share price over recent months has left some analysts predicting the Dolan family might look to sell the business or merge with another company, particularly Time Warner.
Media analyst David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co said a merger was a “high probability”.
However, he told the New York Post: “Time Warner has the cash, but they’re not that eager to pay the $30 [a share] that the Dolans would want.”
Cablevision has not responded to a request for information regarding a possible merger.
The company’s share price rose by 2.04% to $13.01 by 12:00 EST today – its 52-week high was $27.60, while its lowest share price over the year was $11.57.
Last year, Cablevision, founded by Charles Dolan in 1973, reported net revenues of $7.23 billion (€5.6 billion), up 5.6%.