Shares of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable were up sharply in early trading Friday, after a CNBC report said that Liberty Media, which owns a 27% interest in Charter, recently approached TWC executives about a merger of equals.
According to a Friday report by CNBC's David Faber, Liberty CEO Greg Maffei recently discussed general consolidation issues with TWC chairman and CEO Glenn Britt. Faber added that Liberty and Charter are "aggressively reviewing potential acquisition targets," and that Liberty had approached TWC about a potential merger of equals with Charter, but the much larger TWC wasn't interested.
Speculation about Charter's M&A appetite has been heavy ever since Liberty agreed to invest $2.6 billion in the company in May. Maffei has said publicly that Charter could be used as a vehicle to consolidate cable operators, but did not elaborate. And Bloomberg News reported June 10 that Liberty has its eye on Time Warner Cable.