While Bloomberg News reported last month that Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) put in a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) in December, that offer apparently was not answered and subsequently Charter has decided to approach Time Warner’s shareholders explaining the benefits of the deal.
Charter Communications’ letter to Time Warner Cable
The letter verifies that Tom Rutledge, Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR)’s chief executive officer, and Charter Chief Financial Officer Chris Winfrey met with Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC)’s Chief Executive Officer Rob Marcus, Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) CFO Artie Minson, and Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Rob Marcus to explain their offer including financing, structure and both cash flow and tax implications in late December.
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In an interview today, Rutledge said that the proposal includes about $83 cash per share and about $49.50 in Charter stock, valuing the second-largest U.S. cable provider at more than $61 billion, including debt.
Due to this lack of response, Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) has chosen a different tack.
Why go public?
“We haven’t received a serious response,” Rutledge said today in a telephone interview. “Our objective was to talk to management and try to get them engaged. They have not, so we’re going to make our case to shareholders about why this deal is good for them and hope they ask management and the board to watch out for the interests of shareholders.”
Rutlege, in the same interview, says that Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) then requested a higher sale price with more of a cash component. Time Warner Cable’s response was “not a serious offer,” said Rutledge, who would not give a specific number. “They knew the price they were offering was designed to not appeal.”
Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) believes that it offers superior customer service.
“Since we made our first proposal, Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) has lost another half million video customers,” Rutledge said. “Their customer service continues to decline in every measure. We can improve it. We have a demonstrated track record of improving customer service. It’s a question of credibility.”
What about Comcast?
Charter is not alone in its pursuit. It’s believed that Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is also interested in a bid either by itself or with Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR).
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and LionTree Advisors LLC are serving as lead financial advisers to Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR). Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS), Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) and Goldman would provide the money needed for the deal. The law firms Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis LLP are representing Charter.