Charter Might Retry Time Warner Buy if Comcast Deal Blocked

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Liberty's Maffei: Media megadeals will happen, but at a cost
Jan 28 2015, 08:41 ET | About: Liberty Media Corp (LMCA) | By: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor

Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei says that the government will likely approve the giant media merger deals on the table -- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), and AT&T (NYSE:T) with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) -- but the key issue will be what the firms are forced to give up.
"My bet would be that all those deals get done," Maffei tells CNBC. "What is the set of regulations or restrictions around them and what the acquiring companies have to agree to, that'll be the rub.
Liberty's interest in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is on his mind: "Charter has been an acquirer, is going to continue to be an acquirer" -- and Charter will have room to make buys if Comcast ends up swallowing TWC.
Previously: Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger review clock running again (Jan. 13 2015)
Previously: DirecTV hiking prices ahead of AT&T deal's closing (Dec. 29 2014)
http://seekingalpha.com/news/225013...7:3f4d2c0d9cc3878232cfe3ac295cddb8#email_link
 
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Charter Ready To Go After Time Warner Cable If Comcast Deal Falls by David Lieberman
March 3, 2015 3:25pm
http://deadline.com/2015/03/charter-eady-bid-time-warner-cable-comcast-deal-falls-1201385376/
“There’d be a ton of reasons” why Charter Communications “would likely pursue” the No. 2 cable operator if federal officials nix Comcast’s $45 billion stock deal to buy Time Warner Cable, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei told investors today at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. He should know: Liberty, which is controlled by chairman John Malone, is Charter’s dominant shareholder. The cable company tried to buy Time Warner Cable last year, before it was outbid by Comcast.Charter’s in a better position to act now, Maffei says. It can more easily afford a deal: Charter’s stock is up 47.5% over the last 12 months while TWC is up 11.7%. Maffei also talked up Charter’s management under CEO Tom Rutledge. The Charter chief spoke at the confab earlier in the day and said that he’s pleased with a deal he made with Comcast — if its deal with TWC closes — that would enable Rutledge to pick up many of its subscribers, and swap others.
 
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Time Warner Cable is back in play for John Malone's Liberty with end of Comcast bid http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/b...-back-in-play-for-john-malones.html?ana=yahoo
Comcast Corp. has ended its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, also canceling side deals that would have made Liberty Media Corp. the largest shareholder of the nation’s second-biggest cable TV business.But Douglas County-based Liberty Media may get a consolation prize — a deal of its own to buy Time Warner Cable that Liberty Media originally sought in early 2014.Philadelphia-based Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) said Friday it was calling off its $45 billion deal to acquire New York City-based Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) due to resistance from federal regulators who balked at combining the nation’s two largest-cable TV companies in one 30 million-customer behemoth.
 
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Charter Prepares To Pounce On Time Warner Cable https://www.yahoo.com/tv/s/charter-prepares-pounce-time-warner-192138892.html
You shouldn’t be surprised by multiple reports this afternoon that Charter Communications is beginning to craft a bid for Time Warner Cable now that Comcast has left it at the altar. “Obviously, we’d be interested,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge told analysts in February when asked whether he’d step up if Comcast’s $45 billion deal collapsed. His largest shareholder, Liberty Media’s John Malone, was even more enthusiastic when the question was posed to him in November. “Hell, yes,” he said.TWC is up 5.5% to about $156.95 in afternoon trading. Charter shares are barely moving today, up 0.5%. (Comcast also is up a mere 1%.)Remember that Charter kicked off the battle for TWC in late 2013 with a complicated offer valued at $61.3 billion including debt.Macquarie Securities’ Amy Young captured the state of play for TWC this morning when she said it’s “Time for Plan B …We mean A.” She figures that Charter would have to offer as much as $160 a share in a mix of cash and stock. The combined companies could be worth $220 a share.S&P Capital IQ’s Tuna Amobi says that although TWC “could rationally opt to remain independent” it has “several fundamental building blocks to succeed in a consolidated pay TV landscape.”But a Charter deal with TWC doesn’t thrill debt analysts at Moody’s Investors Service. It downgraded the outlook for TWC’s bonds to “negative,” saying that Charter likely would offer “a highly leveraged deal using TWC’s otherwise strong balance sheet.” It adds that there’s a “very slim possibility” that another company such as Cox Communications will step up.When crafting its original TWC offer, Charter said that Goldman Sachs and Aryeh Bourkoff’s LionTree Advisors were its lead financial advisers — with help from Guggenheim Securities, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank Securities. Legal matters were handled by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis.
 
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Charter seeks talks with Time Warner Cable -source http://finance.yahoo.com/news/charter-advisers-seek-talks-time-185804806.html
April 24 (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc representatives have reached out to Time Warner Cable to begin discussions on a potential merger, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.Earlier Comcast Corp abandoned a $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give Comcast an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market.Charter contacted banks in recent weeks to begin preparations to arrange financing for the potential deal, even before Comcast announced it was dropping its bid for Time Warner Cable, the person added.Comcast's all-stock bid was worth about $159 per Time Warner Cable share at the time of the offer last year. At Comcast's current share price that bid would be about $172 per share.Time Warner Cable shares were up 4.8 percent at $155.95 in afternoon trading. Charter shares were down 0.3 percent at $183.02.News of the efforts to begin talks was first reported by Bloomberg on Friday.Charter declined to comment and Time Warner could not be immediately reached for comment.
 
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Time Warner Cable (TWC) Stock Gaining on Speculation of Friendly Deal Talks with Charter http://www.thestreet.com/story/1313...alks-with-charter.html?puc=yahoo&cm_ven=YAHOO
Shares of Time Warner Cable (TWC - Get Report) are higher by 1.11% to $159 in pre-market trading on Monday morning, as investors keep an eye on the cable company in regards to speculation that Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications (CHTR) will meet this week to discuss a possible merger.Last year Charter attempted a hostile takeover of Time Warner Cable before Comcast (CMCSA) stepped in with its deal offer. The potential merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable fell though at the end of last month.On Sunday the Wall Street Journal reported that John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Broadband Corp. (LBRDA), Charter's largest shareholder, recently called Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus to express Charter's interests in pursuing friendly merger talks.
 
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Charter in talks with Time Warner Cable over bid likely above $170 per share: WSJ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/charter-talks-twc-over-bid-011836538.html
Charter Communications (CHTR.O) is in talks with Time Warner Cable (TWC.N) about a bid that is likely to be well above the $170 per share expected by some analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.Charter had bid about $132.50 per share, or $37.3 billion, for Time Warner Cable last year before being beaten by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), whose all-stock deal was initially worth $158.82 per share.Comcast abandoned its $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable last month after U.S. regulators raised concerns the deal would have given Comcast an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market.TWC declined to comment, while Charter had no comment on the report. (http://on.wsj.com/1ejx9SJ)European telecoms group Altice (ATCE.AS) has also approached Time Warner Cable over a deal, sources told Reuters, creating a potential bidding war with John Malone's Charter Communications.A source close to the matter said the meeting between TWC and Altice took place on Wednesday.In a separate report, the Wall Street Journal said U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler reached out to the chief executives of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications to convey that the agency is not opposed to any and all cable deals.Wheeler told the CEOs that any deal would be assessed on its own merits, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1K6IEqx)The calls were in response to recent statements from cable executives "who have expressed uncertainty about the regulatory climate for future cable deals", the Journal said.Wheeler saw some of the statements as a "significant over-reading" of the FCC staff's stance on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, the newspaper said.No specific deals were discussed in the conversations, according to the Journal.An FCC spokeswoman declined to comment.
 
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Charter Nears Deal to Acquire Time Warner Cable for $55.1 Billion https://www.yahoo.com/tv/s/charter-nears-deal-acquire-time-warner-cable-55-162255593.html
Charter Communications is closing in on an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $55.1 billion in cash and stock, sources confirm.The deal comes a month almost to the day that Comcast abandoned its bid to acquire TW Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable operator. And it comes nearly two years after Charter initiated an unsolicited takeover bid for TW Cable that quickly turned hostile, with Charter going so far as to propose an independent slate of directors for election at Charter’s 2014 board meeting.Comcast’s stealth bid for TW Cable, unveiled in February 2014, blunted Charter’s aggressive efforts. But from the moment Comcast withdrew its $45 billion bid on April 24, all eyes were on Charter’s next move. The St. Louis-based cable operator has the backing of John Malone’s Liberty Broadband, which owns a minority interest but is known to be the driving force behind the company’s growth strategy.If the deal goes through, Charter would acquire TW Cable for $195 per share in cash and stock, according to Bloomberg News.Charter declined to comment. TW Cable could not immediately be reached for comment. The deal is expected to be unveiled early Tuesday.
 

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