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Charter to Be Bought By Time Warner Cable?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 6, 2013) - Charter Communications' stock rose more than six percent yesterday on rumors that the cable operator could soon be purchased by Time Warner Cable or Cox, reports

The web site reports that Charter has just frozen all budgets and put a freeze on hiring at its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

In addition, Charter announced that it has hired two Wall Street veterans in the executive ranks, another possible sign that the company is preparing to participate in a deal that would require people with acquisitions and mergers experience. also reports that several high-profile investors, including George Soras, recently bought or increased their stakes in Charter.

The idea that Charter could be sold to Time Warner Cable in 2013 is not a new one, at least on these pages. On December 30, 2012,
in my annual predictions for 2013, I wrote:

"I am now predicting that Time Warner Cable will buy Charter Communications.

The cable business has had difficulty maintaining video subscription numbers thanks to increasing competition from telco and satellite TV services and video streamers such as Netflix.
I don't foresee this changing anytime soon, and consequently, I expect to see some consolidation in the category over the next 12-18 months.

Charter is a likely candidate to be bought. The company has invested heavily in improving its infrastructure and service since coming out of bankruptcy three years ago. However, it has lost more than 20 percent of its subscribers over the last 10 years and the struggle to improve on that record will be even more costly.

Time Warner Cable seems to be in acquisition mode and certainly has the resources to pull off the deal, which is why I am predicting it will do it. But it wouldn't surprise me if Comcast slipped in instead."

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