By Soyoung Kim and Liana B. Baker
NEW YORK Jan 21 Comcast Corp has
added Barclays Plc as an adviser as it evaluates a
potential deal for Time Warner Cable Inc, according to
people familiar with the matter.
Comcast, the top U.S. cable company, hired Barclays late
last year to review its deal options, along with JPMorgan Chase
& Co, which it had earlier tapped for advice, the people
The people asked not to be named because the matter is not
public. Representatives from Comcast and Barclays declined to
Reuters reported on Dec. 6 that Comcast brought in JPMorgan
as speculation about cable industry consolidation increased in
the prior several months.
After six months of an unsuccessful pursuit, Charter
Communications Inc made a formal offer to buy Time
Warner Cable for $132.50 per share, or $37.3 billion, based on
Charter approached Comcast last week to discuss carving up
Time Warner Cable's systems and subscribers, after the
second-largest U.S. cable company rejected its offer, Reuters
reported.. Comcast also has been weighing a bid
of its own.
A deal for Time Warner Cable, if consummated, would generate
handsome payouts for the banks involved, as well as
much-sought-after bragging rights that come with a marquee
In a successful deal, banks advising Charter would split
roughly $74 million to $92 million in advisory fees while Time
Warner Cable's advisers could reap $81 million to $101 million,
according to preliminary estimates by consulting firm Freeman &
Charter's financing banks - led by Goldman Sachs Group
, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse
Group and Deutsche Bank - would also share
$325 million to $445 million in financing fees, Freeman & Co
Charter has said it is lining up $20.5 billion in new debt
and also arranging $3.5 billion in bridge financing.
Estimating potential fees for Comcast's advisers is
difficult since its deal plans are not yet public.
Time Warner Cable is working with Morgan Stanley,
Allen & Company and Citigroup. Charter has turned to
Goldman Sachs and LionTree as lead financial advisers, and is
working with other advisers that include Guggenheim Securities,
Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
Charter, the No. 4 U.S. cable provider, and Comcast are in
preliminary discussions about how to structure a potential
alliance, Reuters reported last week. One possibility is that
Charter buys all of Time Warner Cable and sells off some of its
markets and subscribers to Comcast.
It was not immediately clear which geographic markets are
under discussion, but analysts have said that Comcast would be
interested in Time Warner Cable's largest markets, such as New
York and Los Angeles.
Time Warner Cable, which has said it was open to a deal at
the right price - or $160 per share - considers Comcast to be
the best merger partner because the larger rival can afford to
make an all-cash offer and provides a better geographic fit,
separate people familiar with the matter have said.
Time Warner Cable was trading at $134.50 late on Tuesday.