Time Warner Cable Shares Rise on Merger Speculation

The entire sector was lifted on reports that Liberty Media was interested in acquiring TWC.

Shares of normally slow-moving Time Warner Cable surged more than 8 percent on Friday after reports surfaced that John Malone and his Liberty Media are interested in acquiring the nation's second largest cable TV operator.

Bloomberg and CNBC both reported that Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media, which already owns 27 percent of Charter Communications, has already approached Time Warner Cable CEO Glen Britt about the possibility of a merger.

The CNBC report suggested that TWC isn't interested in a merger, but shares leapt nevertheless, and the stocks of most other cable companies also rose on Friday as investors sensed the industry could be ripe for consolidation.

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Malone has previously expressed an interest in merging other cable companies with Charter.

On Friday, shares of Cablevision Systems Corp. rose 3.6 percent to $14.68; Charter Communications was up 5.2 percent to $116.61; and TWC was up $7.78 to $103.93. Satellite TV companies Dish Network and DirecTV also rose Friday. 

Comcast, the nation's top cable TV company, saw its shares shrink a penny to $39.74. Liberty Media shares rose 1 percent to $125.