For months, Verizon’s own leaders have been stoking the rumor mill with comments about just how ready the wireless giant is to acquire someone, anyone they currently compete with. It seems that wasn’t just talk, but that Verizon actually tried to make a play on Charter before being rebuffed earlier this year.
The Wall Street Journal reported back in January that Verizon and Charter had started talks, but it seems those have now fizzled.
The New York Post now reports that Verizon did in fact make a deal, offering Charter something between $350 and $400 per share and putting the value of the entire company at $100 billion — but Charter said no.
It’s not that Charter’s completely uninterested in a merger, sources told the Post; it’s that Charter’s not quite ready at this time… and that it didn’t think $100 billion was enough.
For comparison, Charter spent about $55 billion on acquiring Time Warner Cable and another $10 billion on Bright House Networks when it completed that three-way deal in 2016. Although that merger was approved by regulators just over a year ago, the lengthy and complicated process of bringing all three brands’ operations under one roof is still going on. Sometimes messily.
Verizon has absolutely been on the prowl this year. In January, the Post noted that Verizon really wanted to buy some big cable company, which at this point basically means Comcast and Charter, or possibly distant second-place options Cox or Altice.
In April, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam made it very clear that Verizon wanted to buy pretty much anyone it could, telling Bloomberg he’d be happy to enter talks with Comcast, Disney, CBS, or anyone else who came knocking.