Post-Time Warner Cable, Sprint looks to merge with Charter Communications
Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son has proposed a merger with Charter Communications, The Wall Street Journal reports from its sources. The combined entity would be under Sprint parent company SoftBank’s control.
The proposal came out of an exclusive, weeks-long negotiations period with Comcast and Charter on the potential for a partnership in providing cellular service for a special package involving the wireline giants’ services. While Charter’s largest investor has been nudging at Comcast’s top brass to go for a joint-funded acquisition of Sprint, the latter’s CEO, Brian Roberts, has been shy about entering the cellular field.
“We really feel we’re not missing anything. No disrespect to wireless,” Roberts said. “It’s a tough business.”
Sprint’s capitalized at $33 billion and is attempting to gain $10 billion from Berkshire Hathaway. Charter’s valued close to $100 billion. A combined company would have about $100 billion in debt, brought about with a 2:1 share between Charter and Sprint. A lot of Charter’s notes were issued to finance the takeovers of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016 — the bids summed up to a $67 billion tab.
The deal, if taken stat, would eclipse AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of media holdings company Time Warner. The asset mix that Charter has, though, would more heavily feature cable TV and internet infrastructure than media.
T-Mobile is also still looking to Sprint as a potential merger partner with Deutsche Telekom as the controlling group of the result.