ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Chicago Tribune's cable television subsidiary has submitted a $16 million bid for Alexandria Cablevision Co., it was reported Friday.
Charles Henry Smith Jr., chairman of the ACC's board of directors, told the Alexandria Gazette that the Tribune Company Cable, a subsidiary of the Chicago newspaper, is the winning bidder for the local firm's cable franchise.
Smith is expected to make a formal announcement at Saturday's city council meeting. City council must approve the sale.
The 40 local investors will make at least a five-to-one return on their initial investment of $1.1 million, Smith said, but he said some of the stockholders have had their money tied up in the high-risk cable franchise for as long as 10 years.
The ACC won a hotly contested cable war 2 years ago and was counting on making an initial investment of $250,000. However, the initial figure grew to $1.1 million, Smith said.
Its total investment now is nearly $9.5 million, Smith said.
Smith said ACC could raise additional money to complete the system, but because the firm is independent, it lacks the 'depth of management' and technical capabilities to give the city a state-of-the-art cable system.
The ACC serves 10,000 customers in the Washington suburb of 100,000. The Chicago Tribune's cable firm runs a franchise in Gaithersburg, Md., and is competing for the Montgomery County, Md., franchise.