Cox Communications has held talks regarding a potential merger with rival cable provider Charter Communications, Bloomberg reports, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The sources have indicated that Cox president Pat Esser recently discussed a potential deal with Liberty Media Corporation, which owns 27% of Charter, although neither party has decided on a potential deal structure.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in May this year Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei met with Time Warner Cable chief executive Glenn Britt to discuss a potential deal between the two industry giants. However, concerned by Liberty’s interest, TWC re-engaged with long-time advisor Morgan Stanley and hired an outside PR firm in case it needed to defend itself against a more public onslaught. Britt clarified his company’s position last week during TWC’s second-quarter earnings call, commenting: ‘The fact that Time Warner Cable has been at the centre of that speculation is really an endorsement of the value of our assets and the company we built. I’m not going to comment further, except to say that, as always, the watchword for us is discipline. Looking for ways to build value for the cable industry, as a whole, consolidation is a worthwhile endeavour, but our objective is, and will continue to be, to build value for our shareholders’.