TWC Rejects Third 'Grossly Inadequate,' 'Low-Ball' Charter Offer

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2013.**

You know a takeover offer is a slap in the face when a giant company responds in two hours.

That's what happened Monday after Charter Communications sent its $132.50-per-share proposal to Time Warner Cable (TWC). This marks the third attempt on the part of Charter, the nation's fourth-largest cable operator, to buy TWC, the second-largest MSO.

Not long after Charter submitted its letter on Monday, TWC issued a scathing press release announcing that the board of directors had unanimously rejected a third "grossly inadequate" offer. Further, the company noted, Charter made only a general proposal of wanting to pay in the "low $130s." In other words, TWC had to find out from media what Charter intended.

"Based on an interview with Charter CEO Tom Rutledge, Bloomberg reported that the offer was for $132.50, consisting of $83.00 in cash and $49.50 in Charter stock," TWC wrote in its press release.

The two previous offers, the first in June 2013 and the other in October, amounted to $114 and $127, respectively, TWC said. Those amounts had not previously been made public on an official basis.

Still, TWC must have some interest in joining forces with Charter. That's because TWC for the second time countered the Charter offer with one of $160-per-share, amounting to $100 per share in cash and $60 per share in stock.

"We gave Charter our bottom line, but rather than pursuing this path, Charter has chosen to go public with its third low-ball offer trying to pressure TWC's board into selling the company at a grossly inadequate price," said Rob Marcus, chairman and CEO of TWC, in a press release.

TWC executives made clear that they are not actively seeking to sell the company, and that their interest lies in protecting shareholder value.

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