Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) President and CEO Tom Rutledge told investors he expects to close soon on his company's acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks.
"Everyone has had their say. The [FCC's] shot clock has stayed ticking as a result of our responsiveness so far. And there are very few local franchised authorities left for us to get clearance on. Our financing is done. We're sitting here, ready to close."
Rutledge made his remarks while speaking at Liberty Broadband Corporation's Annual Investor Meeting. (Liberty Broadband is the largest shareholder in Charter.)
The FCC's comment period on the deals ends today. Charter's deals for TWC and Bright House were announced in May after the collapse of Comcast's bid to acquire TWC. When Charter announced its plans to purchase TWC and Bright House, executives initially said they expected the deal to close by the end of this year. However, in public comments during the past few weeks, Charter and TWC executives have signaled that they expect the closing might get pushed back to early next year.
Rutledge used his appearance at the investor meeting to hammer home Charter's sales pitch for the mergers, which will give the company a national footprint of 48 million passings and 24 million customer relationships spanning nine of the top 25 designated marketing areas (DMAs).
If the transactions are approved by federal regulators, Charter will become the nation's third largest video services supplier with 17.2 million subscribers, trailing only AT&T (26.2 million after its acquisition of DirecTV) and Comcast (22.3 million).
With 20.1 million high-speed Internet users, the new Charter will trail only Comcast (22.5 million) as the leading wireline Internet supplier.
Rutledge reiterated his pledge to hire 20,000 American workers as part of the transactions. "We'll get the outsized growth results that come from a quality service organization," he said.
Meanwhile, he said Charter will deploy its two-way, cloud-based video system across its new footprint. "Our cloud-based technology that allows us to light up new products across our footprint is even better at scale," Rutledge said.
- visit the Charter investor relations site
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