Charter Communications has reportedly staged acquisition talks with billionaire Si Newhouse Jr, whose Advance Publications unit owns Bright House Networks – the US’s second largest privately held cableco, behind Cox Communications. According to Bloomberg, which cites unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations, the all-stock deal is likely to be valued at around USD12 billion.
Bright House would arguably represent a consolation prize for Charter after it missed out on securing a takeover deal for Time Warner Cable (TWC) last year. Charter was outbid by larger rival Comcast, but managed to negotiate a third-party role in the USD45.2 billion Comcast-TWC ‘mega-merger’, in the form of a minor stake in Greatland Connections, a spinoff venture designed to eliminate network overlap following the deal. Charter will also directly acquire 1.4 million TWC customers for USD7.3 billion as part of the larger deal.