The dead Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal is still warm, but Time Warner Cable already has a potential buyer who isn’t wasting any time in going after the major telecommunications player.
And it’s a familiar face.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Charter Communications is ready to move on TWC. From the WSJ, quoting sources:
Charter, which is backed by John Malone’s Liberty Broadband, could approach Time Warner Cable with a proposal soon, the people said. People close to Charter acknowledged that they will have to come up with a better offer than what they presented to Time Warner Cable more than a year ago, given that Time Warner Cable’s operations have improved and both companies’ stock prices have climbed. Charter is unlikely to make a hostile bid, one of the people said.
Before the Comcast deal materialized, Charter made multiple attempts to buy Time Warner, offering the company $37.4 billion in January of 2014. Comcast, of course, won the bidding war with a larger bid ($45 million). Charter fought it for a while, but eventually dropped its pursuit in April. Comcast and Charter made a subsequent subscriber deal.
On Friday, Comcast abandoned its push to acquire Time Warner Cable, due to looming concerns that both the Department of Justice’s antitrust division and the Federal Communications Commission were poised to recommend it blocked.
“We have always believed that Time Warner Cable is a one-of-a-kind asset. We are strong and getting stronger. Throughout this process, we’ve been laser focused on executing our operating plan and investing in our plant, products and people to deliver great experiences to our customers. Through our strong operational execution and smart capital allocation, we are confident we will continue to create significant value for shareholders. I’m extremely proud of the professionalism, dedication and resiliency our 55,000 employees have shown over the past year and thank them for their continued commitment to Time Warner Cable,” said Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus.
Both the Department of Justice and the FCC made statements following Comcast’s decision that cited streaming services and online media as big reasons for their opposition.
Last month Charter agreed to buy Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion – but that deal was contingent upon the success of the Comcast / Time Warner Cable deal.
Image via Jonathunder, Wikimedia Commons