Charter CFO Calls Company ‘Strategically Complete’

Christopher Winfrey says MSO flattered by speculation, but no reason to do deal
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As the speculation wheels continue to spin around a possible acquisition of Charter Communications, chief financial officer Christopher Winfrey said the cable operator, fresh off an $80 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable last year, doesn’t see a compelling reason for a transformative deal.

Talk about a possible deal for Charter has continued despite the protestations of the company and one of its biggest shareholders. Among the possible suitors: Verizon, Sprint and Altice USA.

At the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment conference in Los Angeles Thursday, Winfrey said Charter believes it is “strategically complete.”

“There is nothing we have to do around wireless or content that is a necessity for Charter to have a very, very successful business and to continue to deliver the type of shareholder value that we always have,” Winfrey said. “There is no M&A we need to do. I’m flattered, as are many people I’m sure who are shareholders of Charter of the levels of interest from other people and I understand why somebody would want to step into the growth rates that we have in front of us and the free cash flow per share. But I don’t see a compelling reason to give that away to someone else when we have all that opportunity in front of us.”

Concerning whether Charter itself could be a buyer, Winfrey said like always, the company would evaluate any opportunities that arise in a disciplined and thoughtful manner.

“But we don’t rely on M&A and we never wanted to,” he said.