& cplSiteName &

Comcast May Join Charter Team

Alan Breznick
1/27/2014
50%
50%

The end may be coming even sooner than expected for Time Warner Cable.

In the latest chapter of the Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) saga, Bloomberg is reporting that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Charter Communications Inc. are close to striking a deal to divide TWC's cable systems between them. Naturally, the proposed agreement in principle would be contingent upon Charter succeeding in its current bid to buy out TW Cable despite the fierce resistance of TWC's board of directors and management. (See Charter's $61.3B Bid for TWC Rebuffed Again.)

As reported by Bloomberg, the deal on the table would call for Comcast to buy three TWC regional clusters -- its huge New York City cable system, sizable North Carolina properties, and assorted New England systems -- from Charter once Charter prevailed. The three asset sales would reportedly add another 3 million subscribers to the customer base of Comcast, which is already by far the largest MSO in the US with nearly 22 million subscribers.

If struck, such a deal would solidify Charter's takeover bid for TWC, whose board and management have been holding out for more than the $61.3 billion, or $132.50 per share, price in Charter's latest offer. Calling the Charter bid "grossly inadequate," TWC officials have reportedly been seeking at least $140 a share for their company. (See TW Cable Strikes Back.)

A pact between Comcast and Charter would also give Charter more leeway to boost its offer for TWC because of the cash that Charter would receive on the other end. Although it's not clear what the three TWC properties would fetch from Comcast, they could be worth as much as $16 billion, based on the price that Charter paid for the Optimum West assets of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) last year, Bloomberg said.

Further, a Comcast-Charter alliance would eliminate TWC's biggest prospective "white knights" by aligning Comcast's interests with Charter's. Some industry observers have thought that TWC officials have been holding out hopes that either Comcast or Cox Communications Inc. might come riding to their rescue at the last minute.

But the Bloomberg report notes that Comcast is taking pains not to join Charter in its actual bid for TW Cable. Instead of actively choosing sides in the takeover battle between the fourth and second largest MSOs in the nation, Comcast is apparently lining up on the sidelines, waiting to see how the game unfolds before joining the action.

All three companies declined comment on the reported deal in the works Monday afternoon.

In a note to investors late Monday, Craig Moffett, a principal in MoffettNathanson LLC, argues that a deal with Comcast could increase the attractiveness of Charter's offer to TWC shareholders by enabling Charter to boost the cash portion of its offer. Moffett also contends that Comcast's involvement could make TWC's board and management more amenable to entering into serious negotiations with Charter.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/31/2014 | 8:54:06 PM
Re: How big is too big?
Good points, Karl. Well, if they do try to buy these systems that Charter would get from TWC, maybe the feds will finally declare the tipping point. The regulators are watching to see howthis all unfolds. But, of course, they've watchede other deals unfold too and done little or nothing. Where do you think the line should be, or should have been, drawn?     
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/28/2014 | 9:05:29 AM
How big is too big?
Comcast is the biggest TV company, biggest landline company, third biggest phone company, is expanding into electricity markets, and that's not even mentioning their NBC assets. I'm curious just how big is too be for one company to get before the DOJ and FCC start to consider the end result might not be great for consumers? Comcast's biggest problem has been customer support quality, poor in part from many years of growing too quickly and having to integrate disparate systems. 
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, July 27, 1:00PM EDT
The Changing Face of the Data Center World
Rodney M. Elder, Senior Solutions Architect, Equinix
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
in association with:
From The Founder
The more things change, the more they stay the same for Juniper's next-gen comms solutions, and that's a good thing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (0) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T Launches Network Functions on Demand

7|17|16   |   05:26   |   (0) comments


Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management & Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, discusses the operator's launch of its Network Functions on Demand service.
LRTV Interviews
Enterprise Pitch for Ciscosson

7|14|16   |   04:43   |   (0) comments


After seven months of near silence, Cisco and Ericsson executives publicly discussed details on their extensive partnership. Among the tidbits shared by Martin Zander, VP, group strategy programs, Ericsson, and Doug Webster, VP service provider marketing, Cisco: The partnership was initially launched to serve the service provider market, but is already gaining ...
Wagner’s Ring
Cisco Faces Up to Hypercloud Threat

7|13|16   |   02:42   |   (0) comments


Facebook, Amazon and Google mostly don't buy branded technology for their networks – they build their own. That's a threat to Cisco – and its competitors too – which face potentially dwindling demand for their product. Is Cisco up to the challenge? Light Reading went to the annual Cisco Live conference to find out.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Connected Russia

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Alla Shabelnikova of Ovum shares the findings of a white paper outlining the challenges and opportunities of broadband rollout in Russia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Global Video Business

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Roger Feng of Huawei shares insights on the future of video business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS World Tour Moscow Highlights

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016 at Moscow, Huawei showcases its outstanding progress in video technology.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
September 27, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
SoftBank Muscles In on ARM in $32B Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/18/2016
Ericsson 'Doubles' Savings Goal as Sales Slump
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2016
Kevin Lo's Move to Facebook: Sign of Things to Come?
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 7/20/2016
Verizon's Next With VNFs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/21/2016
Facebook Gets Its Drone On
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/22/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.