Charter Communications shares plunged more than 9% ($12.81 each) in early trading Thursday in the wake of Comcast’s announcement that it will purchase Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal valued at $66.9 billion.
Charter shares sunk as low as $124.76 (down 9.3%) in early trading, before rebounding slightly to 129.31, down $8.26 each (6%) in afternoon trading Thursday. Time Warner Cable shares were up by as much as 8% ($10.88 each) to $146.19 per share before settling in at $144.67 (up 7% or $9.36 each) by the afternoon.
The Comcast deal dealt a blow to Charter, which had spent the past eight-months trying to engineer a hostile takeover of TWC. Earlier this week the Stamford, Conn.-based MSO had put forth a new slate for TWC’s board of directors, a move that signaled a possibly bloody and lengthy proxy fight for company.
Comcast had earlier been considering participating with Charter in a TWC deal, with the larger company purchasing some TWC systems in New York and the Carolinas after a formal deal had been consummated. That apparently escalated to an all-out acquisition of TWC as negotiations continued.