Monday, February 10, 2014

Charter Cable Finds New Angle To Acquire Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable didn't feel the love from Charter's initial bid to acquire them.  And Charter Cable wqill msot likely have to raise its bid to gain control.  But in a move to assure acceptance of a revised bid, Charter is working to nominate "friends" to the Time Warner Cable Board of Directors to help move its efforts forward.  "All 13 of Time Warner Cable's board members are up for re-election at the annual meeting this spring, presenting Charter with a rare opportunity among recent hostile bidders, to take control of the board."  Why its board elections are structured this way is a big problem; at the same time, the timing works well for Charter.  Other companies would be well advised to pay attention and restructure their board elections so as to stagger them across time. 

Whether Charter tries to acquire all of Time Warner Cable or strikes separate deals to sell some systems to Comcast is another question to ponder as this acquisition move strengthens.  Should Charter find that it can swallow all of TWC, I would question whether they should even consider selling systems like New York City.  Sure, Comcast would love to connect itself from New England down to Florida, but NYC is a crown jewel of their properties.  And owning that system and Los Angeles would mean having the top 2 DMAs in the country. 

Nominations for the board occur next week so the fight will only get more interesting.  Likely Charter has a strategic plan and is weighing different approaches to get control.  It may require the help of Comcast, but then again, it may not. 

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