Back on the M&A merry-go-round? Charter eyeing Cox, report says

23 Jun 2017

Charter Communications is weighing up a new plan to acquire privately-held Atlanta-based Cox Communications, three separate sources have informed the New York Post. Charter, which completed the dual-takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks in May 2016, has witnessed renewed competition over the last year, in the form of European-owned Altice USA, which now owns Cablevision and Suddenlink. Referencing the Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge, a ‘highly placed cable source’ told the Post: ‘Tom wants to buy Cox,’ while a separate source confirmed: ‘If they’re going to sell it to anyone, they’re going to sell it to an old cable guy.’

Charter’s anticipated interest in Cox, comes as little surprise; Altice USA executives have namechecked Cox as a desirable acquisition target on several occasions in the last year, and a takeover would propel the European group in line with Comcast and Charter. Altice USA launched an initial public offering (IPO) this week – with a view to raising up to USD1.92 billion. If the share sale meets expectations, it will represent the largest telecoms IPO since AT&T Wireless went public in 2000.

For its part, Cox continues to quash the speculation surrounding its future, with spokesman Todd Smith telling the Post: ‘Cox has been very clear and consistent that we are not for sale and, in fact, we’re aggressively investing in our network, products and strategic partnerships and investments of our own.’