Charter Communications is closing on an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable for a reported $195 per share in a deal said to be worth $55.1 billion, plus assumed debt, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The announcement could come as soon as Tuesday, the reports said.
Bloomberg, which reported the moves first, said the price would be a mix of $100 per share in cash and the rest in Charter stock. The price is 14% over TWC's closing price on May 22. Charter also had been negotiating a deal to buy Bright House Networks, a smaller cable company which is affiliated with TWC. Combining Charter (about 4 million subscribers) and Time Warner Cable video subscribers together would total roughly 14.8 million, second to Comcast's 22.3 million.
Charter's big consolidation play was long considered a strong possibility, as Charter, with backing from key shareholder John Malone, had attempted to buy Time Warner Cable in January 2014, only to be turned down for not offering enough. Comcast then stepped in and signed a deal to merge with Time Warner Cable – a merger that fell apart in April after regulators opposed it as being too big, especially where broadband customers were concerned.