Liberty Pushes Charter Takeover Of TWC, Citing Greater Scale

Liberty Media Corp. -- a major instigator in Charter Communications' takeover attempt of Time Warner -- finally weighed in on the unwanted offer, which was made 10 days ago.

Charter Communications offered a $132.50-per-share bid, totaling $61.3 billion, which Time Warner immediately rejected as “grossly inadequate," believing a $160 a share price tag would be a better valuation.

The company has been pushed to make the move by Liberty Media Corp. Chairman and longtime cable industry executive John Malone. Liberty Media owns 27% of Charter Communications shares.

“The proposed consolidation of Charter and Time Warner Cable, under the respected operational leadership of Tom Rutledge, will enable the cable industry to adopt common technology, brands and service offerings providing the scale necessary to compete in today’s marketplace,” Malone stated.

For some time, Malone has said the cable industry needs greater scale to compete with new digital players, including Netflix. He added: “This industry brought to the home 500 channels; digital compression and high-speed Internet, but needs scale to attract the developers and innovators critical to remaining competitive.”

Charter Communications is the fourth-largest U.S. cable company with 7 million subscribers; Time Warner Cable is second with 15 million. The largest U.S. cable operator is Comcast Corp. with some 23 million subscribers. Comcast is also reportedly interested in a Time Warner Cable acquisition -- alone, as well as in a partner deal with Charter.

Time Warner Cable will reveal its fourth-quarter 2013 financial results on Jan. 30.
Tags: cable tv, m&a, tv
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