Charter Communications is said to weighing up a new bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC) before the end of the year, Reuters reports. TWC, which is the larger of the two carriers by market value, rejected a previous overture from Charter in June this year, seeking instead to align itself with Cablevision and Cox Communications, although neither negotiation prompted ‘serious consideration’ of a merger. The news agency adds that TWC has a market value of more than USD34 billion, compared with Charter’s USD13 billion, underlining the disparity between the two companies.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Charter has been ‘aggressively reviewing’ possible takeover targets since Liberty Media – led by industry figurehead John Malone – secured a 27% stake in the company in March this year. Malone noted that Charter has the kind of strong balance sheet and stock valuation that would allow it to become a ‘horizontal acquisition machine looking at other assets in the US cable business’. Malone, who led a wave of consolidation in the cable industry in the 1980s and 1990s, added that the ‘name of the game in the cable business is scale’.