Time Warner Cable Inc. is in talks about a potential sale to either Altice SA or Charter Communications Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.
Talks with both companies are expected to continue through the weekend, and an agreement with either suitor could be reached as soon as next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The discussions may yet fall apart and there is no certainty a deal will be reached, the people said.
Time Warner Cable, which has a market value of about $48 billion, may fetch more than $54 billion in a sale, one of the people said. It would be a large acquisition for Altice, which has a market value of closer to $36 billion and also just struck a deal to buy a controlling stake in Suddenlink Communications, the seventh-largest cable operator in the U.S., in a deal valued at $9.1 billion.
A purchase by Altice would also face scrutiny from the Commitee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., one of the people said. Still, banks are willing to finance large acquisitions and Altice shouldn’t have trouble raising the funds for a Time Warner Cable bid, two of the people said.
A spokesman for Time Warner Cable declined to comment, as did spokesmen for Charter and Altice. Reuters reported earlier that Altice had discussed financing for a Time Warner Cable bid with banks.