NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Time Warner Cable (TWC) shareholders likely feel as though they won the lottery with Tuesday's takeover offer from Charter Communications (CHTR). But the real winners may be those holding Charter stock.
Charter, the St. Louis-based provider of cable-TV services, announced on Tuesday that it will buy Time Warner Cable for roughly $196 a share in stock and cash, or $78.7 billion. That's a 14% premium to Time Warner Cable's closing stock price on Friday.
Charter will be paying far more for Time Warner Cable than the $158 a share, or $45.7 billion, that Comcast (CMCSA) was hoping to pay before federal regulators struck down that deal. But Charter may actually be getting a bargain.
Time Warner Cable's growth in broadband subscribers over the past 18 months will give Charter the ability to compete on a national scale with Comcast and AT&T (T), which is expected to close its acquisition of DirecTV (DTV) later this year. It also better positions the company to negotiate with content providers led by Time Warner (TWX) and Disney (DIS) eager for distribution through broadband and wireless connections to homes and business.
Charter is also acquiring cable-TV operator Bright House Communications in a separate deal, thereby increasing its subscriber base to 23.9 million, just a short of Comcast's 27 million.