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Liberty Pushes for Charter TWC Takeover

29 Jan, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

ENGLEWOOD, COLO. – After nearly two weeks of silence, Liberty Media Corp. has weighed in on Charter Communications' rejected takeover attempt of Time Warner Cable earlier this month. Charter Communications offered a $132.50-per-share bid, totaling $61.3 billion, which Time Warner rejected and countered with $160 per share.

Liberty chairman and longtime cable industry executive John Malone reportedly pushed Charter to make the move. Liberty Media owns 27 percent of Charter Communications shares.

Malone has said combining Charter and TWC would allow the cable industry to “adopt common technology, brands and service offerings providing the scale necessary to compete in today’s marketplace.”

Malone is on record as saying the cable industry needs greater scale to compete with new digital players, including Netflix. “This industry brought to the home 500 channels, digital compression and high-speed Internet, but it needs scale to attract the developers and innovators critical to remaining competitive,” Malone said.

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 interested in a Time Warner Cable acquisition or a partner deal with Charter.

Time Warner Cable will reveal its fourth-quarter 2013 financial results on January 30.

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