Charter and Bright House agree to move forward with original $10.4B merger deal

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Bright House Networks have agreed to go through with a $10.4 billion merger plan originally announced in late-March.

The two companies announced Monday that they have extended a 30-day window to renegotiate terms, triggered when Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announced in April that it was walking away from its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

Charter's acquisition deal, negotiated with Bright House owner Advance Newhouse, will include the same financial and governance terms previously announced.

"Bright House and its employees have created a high quality service operation, and the addition of Bright House brings additional scale and strategic flexibility to Charter over time. We look forward to completing the transaction as planned, and our teams are working together to make that happen," said Charter president and CEO Tom Rutledge, in a statement.

Pending regulatory approval, the deal combines Charter, the No. 4 cable operator, with No. 6 operator Bright House. Charter will notably gain deep inroads to profitable Florida markets. It will also be better position to achieve its next goal, acquiring TWC.

Not only will the Bright House deal strengthen Charter's balance sheet, allowing it to obtain better financing for a TWC run, it will also gain important integration acumen, with Bright House' origins coinciding with TWC and the two companies sharing similar technology and infrastructure to this day.

"If anything, this helps improve the chances of Charter and Time Warner Cable combining," said media analyst Amy Yong to the New York Times.

For more:
- read this Charter Communications press release
- read this New York Times story
- read this Wall Street Journal story
- read this Reuters story

Related links:
Charter's Rutledge: Merger with TWC would not 'meaningfully change' programming talks
Report: Banks ready to go with $24B for Charter's pursuit of TWC
Roberts: 'We're not feeling the need to rush out and do something' after TWC deal collapse