Will Dolans Take Cablevision Private?

Citigroup Inc.’s Jason Bazinet has a "conspiracy theory" about Cablevision Systems Corp.’s recent decision to revive a $3 billion special dividend to shareholders.

He told Wall Street Monday in a conference call that chairman Chuck Dolan and CEO Jim Dolan "still want to go private -- they’re just going about this in a different way." The Dolans pulled a $7.9 billion offer to take the company private in October.

Bazinet -- who said Cablevision wouldn’t comment on his theory -- thinks the Dolans will move "quickly" to take the company private if its $3 billion dividend goes through, which would see the Dolan family reap about $715 million.

Bazinet expects Time Warner Cable to swoop in after the Dolans take Cablevision private and finally unite the nation’s No. 1 cable market.

AP reported Tuesday that Cablevision appointed two independent directors to help it decide on the dividend: former JPMorgan Chase & Co. managing director Thomas Reifenheiser and State University of New York Maritime College president Ret. Vice Admiral John Ryan.