Charter near cable deal for Time Warner Cable

May 26 08:19 2015

Charter Communications is nearing agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $195 a share in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $55 billion, according to media reports Monday. The prospective deal could create a potent new rival for the nation’s largest pay-TV and broadband firms, including Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company.Comcast Plans To Buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 Billion

Charter is expected to pay $100 per share in cash and the balance in company stock in the prospective deal that would combine the nation’s fourth- and second-largest cable companies, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported. The reported offer represents a 13.9% premium to Time Warner’s $171.18 closing price in Friday trading.

Bright House Networks, a smaller cable company Charter said it would acquire in March as part of a separate $10.4 billion deal, would also be folded into the merged Charter-Time Warner company, Bloomberg reported. The new transaction, potentially the latest in the rapidly consolidating pay-TV industry, could be announced as early as Tuesday, although talks were continuing and could still fall apart, according to the Times report.

Charter did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Time Warner spokeswoman Susan Leepson declined to comment. Charter, controlled by prominent cable industry executive John Malone’s Liberty Media, initially sought to buy Time Warner in a series of escalating bids during 2013-2014. Time Warner’s board rejected Charter’s sweetened offer of approximately $61 billion in cash, stock and debt assumption in Jan. 2014.

The board characterized the offer as a “third grossly inadequate proposal.” Comcast then entered the fray, trumping Charter with a $45.2 merger agreement for Time Warner. But the companies ultimately scrapped their planned tie-up in April, bowing to stiff opposition from consumers and a likely anti-trust veto from federal regulators.