Just when you thought the pursuit for Time Warner Cable couldn’t get any wilder, reports surfaced Friday that Charter and Comcast – earlier in the day said to be weighing individual bids for the second largest MSO in the country – are now investigating the possibility of a joint offer for the cable giant.
According to Bloomberg News, Charter and Comcast have discussed a joint bid for TWC and would divide the assets between them. The report, citing unnamed sources, said the discussions were preliminary and that a TWC breakup is one of several options being considered. The report did not say how big a joint bid would be, how the assets would be split or when the discussions took place.
The Bloomberg report is the latest in what has been a flurry of speculation touched off by a Wall Street Journal article late Wednesday that Charter was lining up bank financing for a TWC bid. That report begat a later revelation from CNBC that Comcast was “seeking advice” on regulatory issues surrounding its own possible TWC bid.
While both Charter and Comcast have each declined comment on the speculation, the latest news helped lift their stocks. Comcast shares closed at $49.52, up 4.4% ($2.07 each) on Nov. 22, while Charter shares rose 6.1% ($7.70 each) to $134.66. Time Warner Cable shares set a new 52-week high Friday, closing at $132.92 each, up 9.8%. or $12.06 per share