Charter 'near' to $55BN Time Warner Cable buyout

DetailsEditor | 26 May 2015

Leading and respected news sources in the US are reporting that US cableco Charter Communications is on the verge of closing the saga of the sale of Time Warner Cable.

Such an acquisition would see the fourth biggest US cable company combine with the country's second largest. Charter would at a stroke gain 12 million customers — in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas — almost quadrupling its current subscriber number.

The US cable sector has been in flux for almost a year now, with the industry rocked after the Comcast-TWC megamerger fell apart under FCC antitrust scrutiny. Yet the corporate jockeying has continued with European telecoms giant Altice agreeing to acquire a 70% interest in US cable firm Suddenlink Communications in a deal valued at $9.1 billion, thought of as the hors d'oeuvre to a full bid for TWC.

Yet Altice faced a formidable foe in John Malone's Charter who had a $37.3 billion bid for TWC in 2014 rejected by the company's board in favour of what Comcast had to offer. And, according to reports by the Bloomberg news agency, Charter is on the verge of closing a deal valued at around $55.1 billion to buy TWC. So close is the deal, says Bloomberg, that it may be announced today (26 May) just after the US Memorial Day holiday with Bright House Networks, a smaller cable company that Charter is trying to buy, also being merged into the combined entity.

Neither Charter nor Time Warner Cable has to date made any official comment on a deal.