Charter has no interest in Sprint
Cable television giant Charter Communications Inc. shot down the prospect of a merger with Sprint, despite interest by the wireless phone operator’s parent, SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan, to create a mammoth new telecommunications company in the U.S.
“While we understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank, Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint,” Charter spokesman Alex Dudley said in a statement emailed Monday to The Times.
Charter is one of the nation’s largest Internet and payTV providers, and is the dominant provider in the L.A. region, with more than 1.5 million customers. The Stamford, Conn., company also has a partnership with Verizon Communications Inc. and plans to use Verizon networks to introduce a Spectrum-brand wireless phone service.
The Wall Street Journal first reported interest by Kansas City-based Sprint in combining with the larger Charter, and Charter’s rejection of a potential tie-up.
As Sprint’s core wireless phone business has matured, the company was hoping to join the parade of consolidation that’s rampant in the telecommunications industry.
But Charter is laden with debt after its acquisition last year of Time Warner Cable, and a tie-up would have introduced other complications because of a pact between Charter and Comcast Corp. not to engage in merger or acquisition talks with another wireless company for at least a year without each other’s participation or go-ahead.
Charter’s shares jumped 5.8% on Monday to $391.91.