Advisers for Charter Communications Inc. have already reached out to Time Warner Cable Inc. to begin friendly talks with an acquisition after Comcast Corp. withdrew its bid for the company, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Charter\’s goal is to buy Time Warner Cable quickly, said the folks, who asked not to be identified since the negotiations are private. Charter has approached banks about financing, one person said. Executives at the companies haven\’t spoken yet, the people said. Talks are in an early stage and have not yet addressed price or structure, and could not create a deal, the folks said.
Time Warner Cable\’s already expressed concern that a combined company may be too indebted, one individual said. Charter\’s planned acquisition of Bright House Networks LLC for US$10.4 billion might help mitigate those concerns, this person said, since it will give Charter more borrowing capacity.
Time Warner Cable jumped 4.8% to US$155.96 as of 2:19 p.m. in New York, giving the company a market worth of about US$43.8 billion. Charter rose 0.6% to US$184.62.
Charter and Liberty have publicly stated their need to acquire Time Warner Cable if Comcast\’s deal fell through. Comcast Friday withdrew its US$45.2 billion offer — worth about US$158.82 a share — after regulatory pushback. Charter tried to buy Time Warner Cable for US$132.50 a share last January inside a hostile bid.
Charter need to get a friendly deal completed, based on one of the people. It would probably have to pay for more than Comcast\’s per-share offer to appease Time Warner Cable, the person said.
A spokesman for Charter declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Time Warner Cable.