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Cox parent reducing cable stake

Cox Enterprises is trimming its stake in cable unit Cox Communications, setting plans to sell half a billion dollars worth of stock.

The family-controlled company will sell 13.5 million shares for around $530 million to two private investors. Cox Enterprises has suffered in recent months with its core, recession-sensitive businesses - newspapers, broadcast radio and TV plus a wholesale car auction house.

The buyers were not identified. Cox Enterprices stake in Cox Communications will fall 2.2 percentage points to 64%.

Cox Communications CFO Jimmy Hayes contended that the sale does not mean the parent company is doubting the MSO's future performance, adding that this is the first time since Cox Communications went public that Cox Enterprises has sold any shares. - John M. Higgins