TVBizwire

John Malone Gets Back Into Cable Business: Liberty Media Buys Stake in Charter Communications USA Today

Liberty Media said Tuesday it is buying a stake in Charter Communications. USA Today reports that the purchase of 27.3% of Charter for $2.62 billion “gives Liberty direct access to the cable service markets in the U.S. with plenty of room for growth.”

The report adds: “The media giant, which owns shares in the Atlanta Braves, SiriusXM and Barnes & Noble, bought the stake from a group of investment funds -- Apollo Management, Oaktree Capital Management and Crestview Partners -- by paying $95.50 per share in cash and new loans.”

Charter shares reportedly rose 2.39% Tuesday to $100.38, while Liberty Media shares fell 0.29% to $110.34.

In a statement, Liberty Chairman John Malone said: "We are pleased with Charter's market position and growth opportunities.”

USA Today adds: “The deal marks Malone's return to the U.S. cable business at a time when service providers are facing major upheaval from customers cutting cable subscriptions and from media companies demanding better financial terms.

“But opportunities for growth in broadband Internet remain robust as consumers are demanding and willing to pay for faster connections.”

The report also notes: “An old hand in the cable business, Malone grew and sold cable provider Tele-Communications Inc. to AT&T in 1999 for $48 billion.”