**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2013.**
One of the hottest rumors of late 2013 became reality today when Charter Communications made a bid to buy Time Warner Cable – its larger rival by more than double its size – for $61 billion, or about $132.50 per share. That includes the purchase of debt.
Charter made the offer in a letter to TWC execs today that spells out why a tie-up between the two companies would be good for Time Warner's shareholders. Charter, which has about 7 million subscribers and is the fourth-largest cableco in the U.S., made a less attractive offer for TWC in December, a bid that was rejected, a Charter exec told Bloomberg. It's a combination that could have significant implications for the channel.
Time Warner Cable has been rumored to be on the auction block for a while now, but might be holding out for a bid from Comcast, the No. 1 cable operator in the U.S. Sources have said that the company would prefer to merge with Comcast if the conditions were right. Cox has been mentioned as a possible suitor as well.
No major reaction just yet on Wall Street, where the news landed after the closing bell. While it's been a lousy day for the market as a whole, Charter's stock was down 1.6 percent today, while Time Warner Cable's stock was off less than 1 percent.
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