Liberty Media close to buying stake in Charter: report
(Reuters) - Liberty Media Corp is close to buying a 25 percent stake in cable operator Charter Communications Inc for about $2.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation.
Charter Communications shares rose 7.4 percent to $96.74.
A Liberty spokeswoman declined to comment on the report while a spokeswoman for Charter, the eighth largest U.S. cable operator, was not immediately available for comment.
Liberty Media, a holding company controlled by cable pioneer John Malone, has been tweaking its portfolio in recent months. It spun off the premium TV cable network Starz in January, increased its stake to gain full control of satellite radio Sirius XM and is also buying more shares in concert promoter and ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment.
"Malone typically likes subscription businesses that have a fair amount of leverage and I think he's fairly bullish on U.S. cable," said Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan.
Malone, who has been nicknamed "the king of cable," founded Tele-Communications Inc, or TCI, which he grew into the largest cable operator in the United States before selling it to AT&T Inc. Malone is also the chairman of Liberty Global, the international cable operator that purchased Virgin Media Inc, a UK company, for about $15.75 billion in February.
Charter's CEO Tom Rutledge was the chief operating officer of Cablevision before he left in 2011. Charter recently purchased a Western cable unit of Cablevision for $1.625 billion in February.
Liberty Media shares fell $1.35 or 1.2 percent to $109.08 on Monday.
(Reporting By Liana B. Baker and Sinead Carew; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Nick Zieminski)
WASHINGTON - When U.S. regulators adopt the Volcker rule on Tuesday, they will make good on a promise by politicians to rein in banks' ability to gamble with their own money.
SAN FRANCISCO - At Pinterest, the four-year-old online bulletin board service that is valued near $3.8 billion, some 70 percent of the users are female. But the company's board of directors is 100 percent male. | Video
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.