Charter Communications is about to close a $ 55 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. The offer, which is backed by Media tycoon John Malone, is estimated to be about 50 percent higher than Charter’s bid from last year for Time Warner Cable.
Bloomberg Business cites an unidentified source, claiming that Charter is willing to pay as much as $195 for a Time Warner Cable share, 14 percent above the share’s price before markets closed on Friday, May 22. Charter would pay $100 in cash and the rest of the amount in its own stock options.
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Charter is reportedly set to announce the mega deal on Tuesday, along with a $10 billion takeover bid for another rival cable company, Bright House Networks. If both these deals get a nod from US regulators, the combined entity would have roughly 20 million subscribers.
The multi-billion deal comes less than a month after Comcast abandoned its bid to buy Time Warner Cable — after US regulators raised concerns over market consolidation and consumer interests. The move would have given Comcast control of roughly half of the cable market in US, bringing together over 34 million subscribers.
According to market analysts, the regulators might view Charter’s deal more favorably, as it would create a strong rival to Comcast. Even if Charter succeeds in buying Time Warner Cable, Comcast would still remain the biggest internet and cable provider in US, with almost 22 million customers.
Charter’s move could also end French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi’s ambitious plan to buy Time Warner Cable. Last week, Drahi entered the fray with a surprise bid, offering $9.1 billion for St. Louis-based cable company Suddenlink. He was reportedly in talks with bankers to get backing for a proposed cash deal for Time Warner Cable.