& cplSiteName &

Charter Jumps Gun on TWC Restructuring

Mari Silbey
4/26/2016
100%
0%

Although Charter is still waiting on official approval to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, integration plans for both MSOs are already well underway.

According to a document shared by an internal source, "New Charter" sent a communication to Time Warner Cable employees about a month ago detailing plans to shift operations from select TWC and Bright House network centers to existing Charter facilities in St. Louis, Mo. and Austin, Texas. The source reports that regional TWC executives appeared to be "blindsided" by the mass email and had little reassurance to offer existing employees beyond encouraging them to explore potential job opportunities in the new locations.

Affected Network Operations Centers (NOCs) as detailed by the mass email include Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) facilities in: Charlotte, N.C.; Herndon, Va.; and Syracuse, N.Y. A Bright House Networks NOC in St. Petersburg, Fla. is also among the sites affected. The overall transition is supposed to begin six months after the two Charter acquisitions close and could take as long as 18 months to complete.

Asked about the restructuring plans, a Time Warner Cable spokesperson did not deny any details, but did suggest that communications had been smoother than the recount above implies.

In a statement provided to Light Reading, the spokesperson said: "Over the last several months, we've worked closely together on integration planning and communications. The Charter team is very respectful of TWC employees and we are pleased with the process."

A Charter Communications Inc. spokesperson expressed disbelief that any executives had been blindsided by communications about the planned merger transition, saying that "the management teams of all three companies have been working in lockstep," including the communications departments.


For more on cable market trends, join us at the Video Summit, part of our upcoming Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, May 24-25. Register now!

Corporate mergers inevitably produce friction, and it's not unexpected to see Charter planning to close certain offices to reduce redundant operations. What's interesting to see is how much of the plans to consolidate MSO facilities appear to have been decided and widely communicated internally before regulatory approval was virtually assured.

The US Department of Justice approved the Charter deals with conditions yesterday at the same time that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced he is also recommending approval with conditions in place. The full Commission still has to vote on the matter, but with Wheeler's endorsement, approval by the FCC is expected. The final hurdle for Charter is likely to be overcome on May 12 when the California Public Utilities Commission hands down its regulatory decision. As with Chairman Wheeler, a state judge in California has already recommended approval with conditions. (See Wheeler Recommends Charter Deals.)

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2016 | 11:14:45 AM
I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
 

There are limits to how an acquirer can act before a deal closes.  Integration plans are supposed to be developed, but it could be argued that this doesn't allow TWC to act as an independent company.  People will leave critical positions based on the information and the vote still needs to happen and it can fail.

seven

 
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
4/26/2016 | 11:26:40 AM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
brooks7- I wonder this too, though it doesn't appear that Charter is worried about acting ahead of approval. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2016 | 11:47:10 AM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
From the outside, this looks poorly handled. I imagine it looks even worse from the inside for TWC employees. Anyone who's been involved on the short end of a corporate merger can empathize. The situation is bleaker when the acquirer is somewhat unsophisticated.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2016 | 1:30:30 PM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
Mari,

The aren't exactly acting and this would be a super gray (or grey) area of the law.  The companies are supposed to act independently before the deal actually closes via the shareholder vote.   Charter hasn't given anyone an order - they have provided information to what will become (if the vote passes) new employees.  

The theoretical problem happens if the vote fails.  A number of people will have quit by the time the deal closes.  That means that it will be difficult for TWC to execute its business and make people more like to vote to merge.

The people at Charter may have considered it a kindness.  A type of early severence.  You know your job is going away and so "head's up go get a new one".  Lots of G&A people will be facing the same challenge.

seven

 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/3/2016 | 10:49:03 AM
Re: I wonder if the SEC will have anything to say
Yes, it is a bit curious that communication among the entities was not handled better. Although, it's not clear that it was as confusing as may have been reported, jumping the gun before the regulators's approval must as been embarassing after it was reported.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments


It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


Light Reading talked to George McGregor of Citrix about the NetScaler Mobile Gateway - an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Nokia & Facebook Push Undersea Fiber to 32 Tbit/s
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 3/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.