Malone Shows Support For Charter/TWC Deal

Charter Communication’s ongoing campaign to convince Time Warner Cable shareholders to accept its unsolicited $61.3 billion bid for the cable giant got a shot in the arm on Thursday when Liberty Media chairman John Malone threw his support to the deal, adding that a combined Charter/TWC would allow the cable industry to adopt common brands and technology.

“The proposed consolidation of Charter and Time Warner Cable, under the respected operational leadership of Tom Rutledge, will enable the cable industry to adopt common technology, brands and service offerings providing the scale necessary to compete in today’s marketplace,” Malone said in a statement. “This industry brought to the home 500 channels; digital compression and high speed internet, but needs scale to attract the developers and innovators critical to remaining competitive.”

Charter unveiled a $132.50 per share bid for Time Warner Cable on Jan. 13, which was quickly rejected as “grossly inadequate.” TWC countered with a $160 per share valuation for the company. In subsequent days, Charter held a conference call criticizing Time Warner Cable’s management,  adding that nothing short of a “transformational event” could right the company. TWC has refuted Charter’s claims, adding that it is on track to better operational performance and will reveal its overall strategy on Jan. 30 when it announces its fourth quarter financial results.

On Tuesday, Charter released a presentation that claimed the longer TWC shareholder’s wait to approve a deal, the less valuable Time Warner Cable becomes.

In the most recent salvo, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei added that Charter doesn’t need a TWC deal to be successful.

“A key reason Liberty invested in Charter was the strength of Tom Rutledge and his management team. They have done a tremendous job turning around Charter's business and we are pleased with the performance of our investment,” Maffei said in a statement. “Charter has been and can continue to be successful on a standalone basis, but the proposed combination with Time Warner Cable will drive shareholder value for all.”