Grigoraci asked, "If the company is doing so well, why do we need a rate increase?"
Kelemen replied, "To increase cash flow. We need to continue to perform well."
Rodecker said that in his opinion, the rate issue "is outside the authority of this committee."
Grigoraci also expressed concern about the way the city's business and occupation tax is listed on the bills Suddenlink sends its customers. At Harrison's suggestion, Kelemen and Grigoraci agreed to meet next week to discuss the matter.
Regarding the transfer, Kelemen said Suddenlink is a private company with private equity investor partners. Two are Quadrangle and Oaktree Capital Management, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.
"These two are exiting and two new private equity partners are coming in," he said.
"The top Suddenlink management is also investing," he said. "As a result, the management of the company won't change, the name of the company won't change, and there will be no change in the way we operate. So from a customer and employee standpoint it will be a seamless transaction."
Kelemen said the two new private equity partners are BC Partners, a company headquartered in Britain, and the Canada Pension Plan's CPP Investment Board. Both entities already have other investments in the United States, he said.
Rodecker noted that the committee has very limited authority to oversee the transfer.
The committee unanimously approved the transfer with a voice vote. Suddenlink's application will go before the city's Finance Committee at 6:30 p.m. Monday and to the full City Council immediately afterward.
Suddenlink offers television, Internet, phone, security and other services to more than 220,000 residential households and 9,500 businesses in West Virginia, making it the largest cable broadband company in the state.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.