Charter Communications, the fourth-largest US cable operator, is taking its audacious bid for larger rival Time Warner Cable to its target’s shareholders after seeing a $62 billion (£38bn) offer rejected as “grossly inadequate”.
Speaking on US business news channel CNBC, Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge described Time Warner Cable, which he said has lost more than 500,000 customers over the past six months, as a “troubled situation”.
He added: “As part of our offer, which is not an all-cash offer, 45 per cent of the company will still be owned by Time Warner shareholders, so those shareholders are going to participate in the synergies that we deliver.” Charter has offered about $132.50 a share for the firm, which has a stable of channels including HBO, home to hit shows such as Game of Thrones and The Wire. Time Warner Cable boss Rob Marcus said: “These guys are just trying to get a premium asset at a bargain basement price.”
Charter is 27 per cent owned by John Malone’s Liberty Media, but Rutledge insisted his group was “leading the charge” with the bid. Malone also chairs Liberty Global, which last year sealed a £15bn takeover of British cable television and telecoms firm Virgin Media.