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The Deal: Charter Discloses $60B Time Warner Cable Bid

Stocks in this article: CHTR TWC

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- John Malone-backed Charter Communications (CHTR) has apparently run low on patience with Time Warner Cable (TWC).

Charter CEO Thomas Rutledge late Monday, Jan. 13, made public a letter to Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Robert Marcus. The letter provides a general outline of a bid valuing Time Warner Cable at more than $60 billion and opens a window into the talks between the companies.

"I communicated a willingness to submit a revised proposal in the low $130s, including a cash component of approximately $83," Rutledge wrote of recent negotiations. Time Warner Cable shares closed at $132.40 on Monday, but rose to $133.75 in after-hours trading on the news.

Though Rutledge said that he "enjoyed spending time" with Marcus in December, he apparently was not satisfied with the pace of talks. Time Warner Cable rejected offers in June and October and had balked at discussions until last month.

A combination of the cable operators has been anticipated since Malone's Liberty Media (LMCA) spent $2.6 billion for a 27.3% stake in Charter last year.

Malone has openly championed further consolidation in the cable television business. Pay television isn't the only industry where the media mogul has been active.

Liberty Media said last week that it will offer $10.4 billion for the shares it does not own of satellite radio company Sirius XM (SIRI).

When announcing the satellite radio deal, CEO Greg Maffei noted that the transaction would boost Liberty Media's "financial and strategic flexibility," and would not preclude other deals.

Charter's lead financial advisers are Goldman, Sachs and LionTree Advisors bankers Aryeh Bourkoff, Ehren Stenzler, Matt Feldman, Rohit Dube, Adam Judd, Michael Diaz. Also advising Charter are Alan Schwartz, Glenn Schiffman, Eric Rutkoske and Mark Radin of Guggenheim Securities.

Leading the financing for the deal are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse AG, and Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis are providing counsel to Charter.

Written by Chris Nolter


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