Looks like Time Warner is finally going to be sold. Charter Communications is just about ready to seal its long-discussed acquisition of Time Warner Cable in a $55 billion deal that could be announced as early as Tuesday. Bloomberg was first to report the news but Reuters, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal all quickly reported the same information from their own sources. Charter will also go through with its planned purchase of Bright House, the sixth-largest U.S. cable operator, for $10.4 billion.
The cash-and-stocks deal that the two companies appear to have agreed to would value Time Warner Cable at $195 per share, of which Charter would pay $100 in cash and the rest in stock. The move would come a month after Time Warner Cable went back on the market after a planned merger with Comcast fell through due to opposition from Washington regulators. While everyone is presenting this as pretty much a done deal, the New York Times’ sources “cautioned that talks were continuing and might still fall apart.”
Combining the second and third largest U.S. cable operators would automatically create a powerful new rival to compete with companies in the sector, including Comcast and DirecTV. Assuming it would go through as expected, the deal would mean a big victory for billionaire John Malone, the main Charter shareholder who has long sought to push the company toward growth.