Belfast Telegraph

Cable giant Charter is in £51bn deal with Time Warner

By Roger Baird

US cable giant Charter Communications will buy Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-shares deal valued at $78.7bn (£51.1bn) that will create one of America's largest pay-television and broadband operators.

The mammoth deal comes at a time of great change in the US cable industry as increasing numbers of consumers watch programmes on the internet rather than on TV screens.

The move brings together two of the biggest cable providers in the US market.

As part of the agreement, Charter will also buy smaller cable firm Bright House Networks for more than $10bn (£6.5bn).

Charter will pay $55.76bn (£36.1bn) in cash and shares for Time Warner Cable. It will also pick up Time Warner Cable's long-term debts of over $22.6bn (£14.7bn).

Charter said it will provide $100 (£65) in cash and shares for the business equal to 0.5409 shares of Charter for each outstanding Time Warner Cable share.

The transaction values each Time Warner Cable share at about $195.71 (£127).

Charter, which is backed by US cable tycoon John Malone, said the new firm will reach just under 24m customers across 41 states.

It added that the scale of the three merged firms would drive new investment, leading to faster broadband speeds, better video products, more high-definition channels and a more affordable phone service. Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge said the scale of new Charter would "unleash the full power of the two-way, interactive cable network".

Belfast Telegraph