Charter Communications CFO Christopher Winfrey continued to pour cold water on potential M&A suitors including Verizon, Sprint and Altice, telling the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference on Thursday that his cable company is already “strategically complete” following its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last year.
“If Charter never does M&A again, we have a very successful model that’s going to deliver a lot of growth for many years to come," Winfrey said. "There is nothing we have to do around wireless or content that is a necessity for Charter to have a very, very successful business and to continue to deliver the type of shareholder value that we always have.”
“There is no M&A we need to do. I’m flattered, as are many people I’m sure who are shareholders of Charter of the levels of interest from other people and I understand why somebody would want to step into the growth rates that we have in front of us and the free cash flow per share. But I don’t see a compelling reason to give that away to someone else when we have all that opportunity in front of us.”
Certainly, Charter still has its hands full, with only 30% of customers acquired from TWC and BHN transitioned to its pricing and packaging models. Winfrey conceded that the integration process has been “messy”—the price Charter has paid as it’s “repriced the business.”
Winfrey said Charter will spend 2018 rolling out its Spectrum Guide footprints across TWC and BHN footprints, as well as migrating the acquired systems to common back office systems.
“By late 2018, 2019, we’ll see a lot of the disruption behind us,” he added.