Charter makes opening bid of more than $61 billion for Time Warner Cable; will & when Comcast get involved?
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Charter Communications has made its widely anticipated opening bid for the much larger Time Warner Cable, an offer that values TWC at $132.50 per share, or more than $61 billion including debt.
Charter has had discussions with Time Warner Cable but has said that TWC has been largely
unresponsive to its suggestions, and this bid is not expected to be accepted. Charter's goal, with the backing of John Malone's Liberty Media (which owns 27% of Charter), is to get the issue in front of TWC shareholders.
A combined Charter/TWC would be about 80% as large as Comcast's cable business in terms of video subscribers. Comcast is expected to show its cards on this deal at some point. Although Comcast hasn't publicly said its interested in acquiring all of or part of Time Warner Cable, sources have indicated that its been carefully surveying the landscape in preparation of such a possibility.
Malone built TCI into a giant cable operator that was sold to AT&T for $48 billion in 1998. AT&T subsequently agreed to merge its cable business with Comcast's in 2001 in a transaction valued at $72 billion.