Charter is undergoing an internal battle over whether to expand via more acquisitions, or go a different direction and sell the company outright, reports the New York Post.
The newspaper writes that Charter CEO Tom Rutledge supports pursuing another merger or two following the company’s purchase of Time Warner Cable in May 2016. Charter, which has nearly 17 million video subscribers, is now the industry’s second largest cable operator to Comcast, which has more than 22 million.
The New York Post and other news sources have reported in recent months that Charter may be interested in buying Cox Communications and/or Altice.
“Charter’s Chief Executive Tom Rutledge, who last year swallowed Time Warner Cable and renamed it Spectrum…insists that he can increase Charter’s dominance with still more purchases, sources said,” the Post writes.
However, John Malone, a living legend in the cable industry, and Charter’s largest stockholder with 27 percent of the company, believes it’s time to sell the company. The newspaper does not explain why Malone holds that position.
For now, the Post writes, Charter’s board of directors is firmly behind Rutledge and his desire to expand via acquisition. But the 76-year-old Malone wields enormous influence in, and outside, the company.
“I think Malone is a seller,” the Post quotes one source as describing Malone’s position in the battle.
— Phillip Swann