TWC's Marcus asks his 'fatigued' staff to get back on the merger 'rollercoaster'

Just 32 days after his staff abruptly aborted a 14-month M&A integration process with Comcast, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) CEO Rob Marcus sent a memo to his charges Monday asking them to do it all over again. 

Rob Marcus, TWC


"We've all been on a rollercoaster ride over the past year and a half, and I know you're fatigued from the prolonged period of uncertainty," Marcus wrote in a Monday-morning memo, shortly after it was announced that Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) had agreed to buy his company for $56.7 billion.

"I realize that yet another merger agreement means more uncertainty and transition. However, I'm confident the deal will be approved and that the combined company will be a great place to work. Above all, we will continue the strong momentum that Time Warner Cable, Charter and Bright House have built separately and the product and customer experience improvements that have helped fuel each company's success."

Marcus assured the troops that many will still have jobs following the speculative close of the deal, which also folds in the operations of Bright House Networks under a separate $10.4 billion deal with Charter. 

"Following completion of the merger, I believe there will be a lot of opportunities for TWC employees," he wrote. "The company is going to need most of our people, whether they're in residential, business services, media services, TechNO, or our shared-services groups. TWC is the largest of the three companies merging, and you bring unique and differentiated talents and expertise in the development and delivery of video, Internet and phone for residential and business customers, as well as media services and news and sports networks."

Speaking with media analysts Monday morning shortly after the deal was announced, Charter president and CEO Tom Rutledge said he is "confident" the proposed merger will pass regulatory review.

"I think there's a better industry as a result of this combination," he told analysts, suggesting there could be more cooperation among cable operators on such initiatives as the buildout of  as public Wi-Fi services. "There will be [fewer] people to coordinate to make those new products work."

Monday's mega-deal announcement yielded a flurry of industry statements from media analysts, cable industry executives and regulators, the most gracious being that of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) CEO Brian Roberts, who wrote, "This deal makes all the sense in the world. I would like to congratulate all the parties."

Ratings agency Moody's, meanwhile, put TWC's stock up for downgrade review, noting, "The review for downgrade reflects TWC's intention to merge with a lower-rated and more leveraged entity, which given the financing plans which include a significant debt component, will lead to deterioration in the newly combined TWC, Charter and Bright House's balance sheet strength and credit metrics to a level not consistent with a family investment grade rating."

Simultaneously, Moody's put Charter up for upgrade consideration, adding, "The review for upgrade will focus on the substantial scale benefits and cost synergy opportunity for the post-close entity, as well as the execution risk required to achieve the potential savings."

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Updated: An earlier version of this story mis-identified ratings agency Moody's.