Boston, MA, 03/19/2013 – Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ:LMCA) (Current: 110.37, Up by: 0.03%) has decided to acquire about 27% stake in Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) (Current: $105, Up by: 4.54%), for $2.62 billion. Charter is fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S.
Liberty will pay $95.50 a share for about 26.9 million shares and 1.1 million warrants for Charter’s investors Apollo Global Management, Oaktree Capital Management and Crestview Partners. The transaction is expected to close by mid-May.
As part of the transaction, Liberty will place four directors to Charter’s board; as a result Charter’s current directors Stan Parker, Darren Glatt, Bruce Karsh and Edgar Lee — who are affiliated with Charter’s private-equity investors — will resign from the board.
Under the deal, Liberty has agreed not to attempt to buy majority stake in Charter, and thus would not increase its ownership more than 35% until 2016; and 40% thereafter.
Founded by Microsoft’s Paul Allen in 1993, Charter filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. The company has also acquired Optimum West for $1.63 billion, gaining over 3, 60,000 customers. Charter currently caters to more than 5 million customers in 25 states.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of the second quarter of 2013.