Charter And Comcast Close To A Deal To Divvy Time Warner Cable Systems: Report

DAVID LIEBERMAN
Deadline.comJanuary 27, 2014

Comcast would snag New York City, New England, and North Carolina properties from Charter if it succeeds in buying Time Warner Cable, Bloomberg reports citing “people with knowledge of the matter.” Comcast and Charter “have a framework agreement” for what the No. 1 cable operator would pay, pegged to the ultimate price Charter negotiates if it can make a deal. Charter has offered $61.3B (including debt), or $132.50 per share — but TWC has rejected that, saying that its assets are worth at least $160. Charter is preparing to propose directors for the TWC board who would support its bid, the news service says. The report jolted Charter shares: They’re up nearly 7% in afternoon trading. TWC is slightly positive after slipping nearly 1% before the release. Although Comcast would not join Charter in its effort to buy TWC, a side deal would make it easier for the company to finance an acquisition. Charter plans to borrow about $20B for a deal. Investors have been expecting Comcast to enter the fray. “Charter is stretched in its acquisition proposal to TWC, and will likely need to offer even more to get a deal done,” Brean Capital’s Todd Mitchell says. An agreement with Charter would give Comcast “the markets it really wants” and it could do so “with little change in leverage ratios, and see the potential for solid accretion.”

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