TV and telecoms providers are continuing their buying spree in a quest for growth, with news on two big deals today.
US pay-TV giant Comcast is paying $45.2 billion for rival Time Warner Cable, combining the two biggest US cable operators, while Spanish TV and internet operator Ono has rejected Vodafone’s €7 billion takeover bid.
Comcast has beaten competition from US billionaire John Malone to take control of Time Warner. Charter Communications, whose largest investor is Liberty Global boss Malone, previously made a $38 billion bid for the provider, an offer that was rebuffed as “lowball” by Time Warner.
The $45.2 billion tie-up will create a pay-TV giant with about 30 million subscribers in the US and the deal will likely face scrutiny from competition watchdogs in the US.
Meanwhile Vodafone, which has been battling Malone in the European market, has had its bid for Spain’s second largest cable operator Ono rebuffed. The company, which Malone also expressed an interest in, will instead pursue plans for a stock market listing.
Last year Vodafone went head-to-head against Malone’s Liberty Global for control of German cable operator Kabel Deutschland, with Vodafone’s £7.7 billion bid eventually triumphing.
Both companies are trying to buy up cable assets across Europe in a bid to chase growth. Vodafone recently announced its seventh quarter of falling revenue and chief executive Vittorio Colao this week said the company could spend up to $40 billion on acquisitions in coming years in a bid to bolster its position.
Last year Liberty Global agreed to buy Virgin Media in a deal worth $16 billion (£10.3bn).