The Reorganization Plan of Charter Communications Confirmed

Skadden represented Paul Allen, as principal shareholder of Charter Communications, Inc., the fourth-largest cable company in the United States, in connection with the prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of Charter Communications and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed the reorganization plan of Charter Communications Inc. on November 17, 2009, in what the judge called "perhaps the largest and most complex prearranged bankruptcies ever attempted, and in all likelihood ranks among the most ambitious and contentious as well." The bankruptcy court found that Charter was "endeavoring with singular creativity and determination to reduce its heavy debt load and recapitalize itself during perhaps the most challenging period in the modern era of global corporate finance." The court examined the Paul Allen settlement with "heightened scrutiny and some skepticism," and ultimately found that the Paul Allen settlement was "uniquely valuable to the Charter estate by establishing the grounds for reinstatement of the senior debt and for realizing potential tax savings [for Charter] that aggregate billions of dollars." The confirmed plan restructured and simplified a highly complicated operating partnership that was part of an "up-C" structure and involved numerous complex tax issues.