Charter Raises $3 Billion in New Debt Offering

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge
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Charter CEO Tom Rutledge

The U.S. cable giant, led by CEO Tom Rutledge, reports a "significant increase in network activity" as Americans shelter during the COVID-19 crisis.

U.S. cable giant Charter Communications has raised $3 billion in fresh cash via a new debt offering.

Charter in an April 14 Securities and Exchange Commission filing said the new issue had come in two tranches: one for $1.6 billion in senior secured notes due 2031, and the second at $1.4 billion in senior notes due 2051. The company added it intends to use the net proceeds from the debt offering for general corporate purposes.

The pandemic has led Charter, like most large Hollywood media players, to increase its access to cash so that it can weather the storm and resume normal operations once the health threat recedes.

As Charter gave an update on its response to the novel coronavirus crisis, the company said it was handling increased use of networks by internet subscribers. "As the COVID-19 pandemic develops and significantly impacts the United States, Charter has continued to deliver services uninterrupted by the pandemic. Because we have invested significantly in our network and through normal course capacity increases, we expect to be able to continue to respond to the significant increase in network activity from the private and public response to COVID-19," Charter wrote.

At the same time, the company said it had little visibility to "predict the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on our business, including from an economic impact to our residential and business customers' ability to pay for our product and services."

In its filing, Charter also noted, "The response to our 60-day free internet offer for new customers with students or educators in the household has generated 119,000 new internet accounts in March."