Time Warner Cable may already have a new suitor.
In a widely expected maneuver, cable giant Charter Communications is laying the groundwork for a bid to buy the country’s second-largest cable and broadband provider, according to a Wall Street Journal report Friday.
The move comes hours after Comcast backed out of a controversial deal to buy Time Warner Cable after federal officials opposed the mega-merger.
The possibility of Charter's renewed interest in Time Warner Cable should come as no surprise. Charter previously tried to buy the company, but its negotiations were derailed when Comcast, the industry goliath, swooped in with a $45.2 billion offer.
Last month, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said “there’d be a ton of reasons” for Charter to pursue Time Warner Cable if the deeper-pocketed Comcast backed out. The statement had weight, considering Liberty is Charter’s dominant shareholder.
Combined, Charter and Time Warner Cable would have 15 million video customers and 16.5 million Internet subscribers, according to the Associated Press. Comcast alone has 22.4 million video subscribers and 22 million Internet customers.
In a Friday statement announcing the death of the Comcast merger, Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Robert D. Marcus called his company “a one-of-a-kind asset,” hinting that he was still seeking a buyer.
Time Warner Cable spokesman Bobby Amirshahi declined to comment, as did Charter Communications spokesman Alex Dudley.