After nabbing TWC for $55 billion and Advance/Newhouse’s Bright House for $10.4 billion, Charter is now the nation’s second-largest cable operator behind Comcast Corp. with almost 24 million subscribers, including about 17.4 million video subscribers. Charter ranks as the third-largest MVPD overall behind Comcast and DirecTV.
The mega merger, which was announced nearly a year ago, is set to change the face of the U.S. pay-TV landscape, seeing the much-maligned Time Warner Cable disappear into cable history as Charter moves forward with its new cable and TV broadband services dubbed “Spectrum.” The deal will also see Charter expand its footprint into key markets like Los Angeles and New York.
“I want to thank the management teams and all of the employees at Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for their hard work over these past 12 months,” said Charter President and CEO Tom Rutledge, who was also named chairman of the board following the acquisition. “Despite much distraction, they keep their focus on the customer and, as a result, today we join together three companies, each operating with tremendous momentum.”
Rutledge added: “Current Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable customers won’t see many changes right away, though in the coming months they will begin to hear more from us about the Spectrum brand, and the product improvements and consumer friendly policies that come with it. Charter’s objective is to provide high quality products at great prices and back it up with excellent customer service, and we intend to continually improve the way we do business in order to be the very best at what we do.”
The three-way marriage will see Charter, TWC and Bright House serve more than 25 million customers across 41 states. The completion of the transactions, said Charter, will drive investment into the combined entity’s advanced broadband network, resulting in faster broadband speeds, better video products, more affordable phone service and more competition for consumers and businesses.
Liberty Broadband invested in Charter in early 2013 and is helping to finance the takeover of TWC and Bright House. It now controls about 25% of the voting shares in Charter.
Rutledge will lead Charter as chairman of the board, prexy and CEO. The company’s board will consist of 13 directors, with the remaining 12, including seven independent directors, two directors designated by Advance/Newhouse and three directors designated by Liberty Broadband.
Charter’s deal to enlarge its cable holdings comes 13 months after Comcast was forced to drop its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable following opposition from regulators and media watchdog orgs.
Diana Lodderhose contributed to this report.