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[WASHINGTON] Charter Communications is nearing a US$55.1 billion deal to buy out fellow American cable giant Time Warner Cable, which also has been courted by France's Altice, US media reported Monday.
As part of the deal, Charter would pay about US$195 a share for Time Warner Cable - US$100 in cash and the rest in shares - The Washington Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the deal.
The share price would be 14 per cent higher than Time Warner Cable's closing stock price on Friday.
The two companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Seeking to arrange a sale after a deal with Comcast fell through in April, Time Warner Cable also has had exploratory talks with Altice.
The French firm just made a splash in the US market buying 70 per cent of Suddenlink Communications for US$9 billion.
Charter, the fourth largest US cable provider, would boost its profile dramatically if it acquires Time Warner Cable, which is number two in the US market.
Adding in the smaller Bright House Network, they would form a giant that could challenge Comcast's market leadership.
If it is ironed out, the deal also comes as cable providers scramble to get lean and mean amid online video's explosion.