Charter Communications to buy Bright House for about $10 billion — Reuters

(Reuters) – Cable television operator Charter Communications Inc has agreed to acquire Bright House Networks in a roughly $10 billion deal, according to a source familiar with the matter, in the latest round of consolidation that has swept the cable industry.

Bright House has about 2.5 million cable subscribers, with its biggest market in Florida including a strong presence in Tampa and Orlando. A deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

The deal is contingent on Comcast Corp’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc being approved by U.S. regulators, the source said.

The owner of Bright House, Advance Newhouse, would become Charter’s largest shareholder, the source added. Liberty Media Corp was previously Charter’s largest shareholder.

Before this tie-up, Bright House had an operating agreement in place with Time WarnerCable that allows it to share technology and programming rates with the larger cable operator.

That agreement came into question when Comcast made an offer to buy Time WarnerCable last year. Bright House brought on a financial adviser to help it explore its options last year.

Representatives for Bright House and Charter could not immediately be reached for comment.

Charter has commented about its desire for consolidation in the cable industry. It made a bid for Time Warner Cable last year before Comcast beat it to a deal.