UPDATE 1-Charter Communications emerges from bankruptcy

Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:04pm EST

* Charter completes financial restructuring

* Cuts debt by 40 percent, or $8 billion

* Existing shares of common stock have been canceled

* Paul Allen will retain largest voting interest (Updates with company confirmation of reorganization)

By Chelsea Emery

NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Cable operator Charter Communications Inc CHTRQ.PK has completed its financial restructuring and has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after cutting its debts by 40 percent, the company said on Monday.

The fourth-largest U.S. cable operator filed for bankruptcy in March after working out a debt restructuring plan in advance with some bondholders.

"It is the largest pre-negotiated case ever completed," said Richard Cieri, an attorney with Kirkland & Ellis LLP who represents Charter Communications. "We are very pleased the plan has now gone effective and the company has achieved a very successful restructuring."

Charter cut its debt load by 40 percent, or $8 billion, under the plan. It is also poised to generate positive cash flow by reducing annual interest expense by more than $830 million.

Existing Charter common shares have been canceled. The company said in a statement it intends to apply for listing of new common stock on the Nasdaq stock market "not earlier than 45 days after emergence."

The company said it would receive $1.6 billion in new capital from an equity rights offering.

In addition, Charter will exchange existing CCH II notes for about $1.7 billion of new 13.5 percent CCH II notes due 2016.

The current debt of Charter subsidiaries CCO Holdings LLC and Charter Communications Operating LLC will be reinstated under pre-existing pricing and maturity dates, the company said.

Charter is controlled by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) co-founder Paul Allen. Allen will be able to appoint four board members of the new company. Bondholders will be able to appoint four board members.

"Paul Allen will continue as an investor and will retain the largest voting interest in the company," Charter said in a statement. (Reporting by Chelsea Emery; Editing by Derek Caney and John Wallace) ((chelsea.emery@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6115; Reuters Messaging: chelsea.emery.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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