Charter Communications has confirmed a deal to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC) in a cash-and-stock deal worth US$55 billion.
The proposal values TWC at around $195 per share or $78.7 billion including debt. If approved by federal regulators, the acquisition would merge the fourth and second largest cable companies in the United States.
The deal, which is backed by John Malone’s Liberty Broadcast Corp, also covers the $10.4 billion acquisition of Tampa Bay-based cable operator Bright House Networks, which Charter previously agreed to buy and intends to fold into the new entity, New Charter, to be led by Charter Communications president and CEO Tom Rutledge (pictured). Liberty Broadband is expected to own about 20% of the company.
In April, the country’s largest cable company and NBCUniversal owner Comcast backed out of a proposed $45.2 billion deal to take over Time Warner Cable amidst push back from U.S. regulators and unfavorable public opinion polls.
Following Charter’s announcement on Tuesday (May 26), Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement that regulators will scrutinize the deal to ensure it is in the public interest. “An absence of harm is not sufficient,” he said. “The Commission will look to see how American consumers would benefit if the deal were to be approved.”
The newly merged company would have nearly 24 million subscribers compared with Comcast’s 27 million.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.