Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) is open to discussing a possible merger with Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources.
Word of TWC's interest comes after a report indicating that Charter is preparing to once again take a run at TWC after Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) proposed $45.2 billion bid for TWC was rejected by federal regulators last week.
Charter's previous attempts at acquiring TWC in 2013 and 2014 were regarded as hostile, so interest by TWC executives would be a novel development.
According to Reuters, TWC decision-makers believe an acquisition attempt by a company smaller than Comcast will have a better chance at regulatory success.
There is also said to be a belief that Charter's stock is a more valuable currency than it was in January 2014, when TWC rejected Charter's last offer.
In January 2014, Charter had proposed a takeover bid valued at $132.50 a share in cash and stock. TWC's board rejected that offer, demanding $160 a share with at least $100 of that in cash. Then Comcast then came in with all-stock deal that valued TWC at $158.82 a share.
Meanwhile, TWC is denying a Wall Street Journal report that it approached Cox Communications about a merger. The paper says Cox rebuffed the overture.
"It's simply not true. We have not engaged in any discussions with Cox," TWC spokeswoman Susan Leepson told Reuters.
- read this Reuters story
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Updated: This article was updated April 28 to add an additional angle--TWC denied reports of approaching Cox Communications about a possible merger.