Knology shares jump after report it is up for sale

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Shares of cable TV and Internet provider Knology Inc. jumped in heavy trading Tuesday after a report said the company is shopping itself to potential buyers, including private equity firms.

THE SPARK: The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that Knology had hired a financial adviser in recent weeks and is looking to be acquired.

The company has a market value of around $641 million and $727 million in long-term debt. Including a transaction premium, the company could be sold for around $1.5 billion, the newspaper said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Messages left by The Associated Press with company representatives were not immediately returned.

THE BIG PICTURE: West Point, Ga.-based Knology is a cable TV and Internet provider with some 257,000 video subscribers at the end of December. It also provided phone service for 277,000 customers and an Internet connection to about 262,000 customers. The company operates in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Kansas and Florida.

The company posted 2011 net income of $48.3 million, or $1.24 per share, on revenue of $234.8 million.

SHARE ACTION: Knology shares jumped $1.49, or 9.4 percent, to $17.30 in afternoon trading. Earlier, shares hit a high of $19.34, a price the stock last reached in 2007. The previous 52-week high of $16.20 was reached Feb. 16.