Charter makes formal offer for Time Warner Cable

Melanie Hicken

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — After months of overtures, Time Warner Cable has formally received a merger offer from one of its main rivals.

Charter Communications on Monday said it sent a letter formalizing a previous discussion to offer around $130 a share, including approximately $83 per share in cash, to merge with Time Warner Cable.

The bid for Time Warner Cable, the country’s second largest cable company with more than 11 million subscribers, was first reported by Bloomberg.

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Time Warner Cable could not be immediately reached for comment.

Charter, the fourth largest cable provider with just over 4 million subscribers, said it has made repeated overtures for more than six months, but that “Time Warner Cable chose not to engage or find out more.”

That changed in December, when executives from both firms met to discuss Charter’s plan. But after the meeting, Time Warner Cable returned with “an unrealistic price expectation,” Charter said Monday.

Sources said in November that Time Warner Cable had reached out to Comcast for a possible deal.

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Charter now says it is going to the company’s shareholders directly with its offer.

“We believe that time is of the essence to prepare our companies to meet the challenges of the industry, which is why we have decided to announce the status of our discussions to date with both sets of shareholders,” Charter President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Rutledge wrote in the letter.

Shares of both Charter and Time Warner Cable shares rose slightly in after-hours trading after news of the proposed deal broke. Charter shares are up more than 70% from a year ago, while Time Warner Cable shares are up by more than 30%.