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Time Warner Cable Appoints New M&A Exec as Deal Talk Swirls

Time Warner Cable, a takeover target being eyed by several cable operators, is putting a new executive in charge of M&A.

Christian Lee, previously the cable operator’s VP of investments, will become senior VP of mergers and acquisitions effective Dec. 31. He will take over for 28-year company vet Satish Adige, who is retiring.

In recent weeks Comcast, Charter Communications — together with John Malone’s Liberty Media, which owns a minority stake in Charter — and Cox Communications have reportedly been in various stages of evaluating deals to acquire or merge with Time Warner Cable.

Rob Marcus, set to become chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable at the start of 2014, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the operator would be open to offers at the right price. “I am the perfect guy to manage the M&A component out there,” he said. TW Cable would likely accept a bid of $150-$160 per share, Bloomberg reported, citing an anonymous source.

Meanwhile, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said Thursday that the Obama administration would be unlikely to OK a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. An “outright acquisition by Comcast of Time Warner Cable could face a number of hurdles in the Obama administration,” Pai said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, adding, “A Republican administration likely would be more inclined to approve a deal.”

According to Time Warner Cable, Lee has helped execute numerous transactions as head of investments. Those include the spinoff of Time Warner Cable from Time Warner Inc. in 2009; the pending acquisition of DukeNet Communications; and acquisitions of Adelphia Communications, Insight Communications, NewWave Communications and NaviSite.

“Christian is an accomplished executive who brings a wealth of experience and leadership qualities to his new role,” Time Warner Cable CFO Artie Minson said in a statement. “Under his direction, we will continue to pursue our disciplined and strategic approach to investing and M&A.”

On Thursday, TW Cable announced Dinni Jain, former president of cable operator Insight Communications, will become chief operating officer effective Jan. 13.

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