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Dealwatch: US firms line up on the $55bn takeover of Time Warner Cable

In one of the largest M&A deals so far this year, US law firms continued to show their dominance of their home market with six securing roles on the $55bn takeover of Time Warner Cable by Charter Communications.

Charter Communications confirmed yesterday it would acquire Time Warner Cable in a deal valuing the company, whose channel stable includes HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network and DC Comics, at $79bn.

New York-based Steven Cohen, a corporate partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz since 2000, spearheaded the deal for Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the US and which is paying $55bn in stock and cash for the company. Kirkland & Ellis is representing Charter as financing counsel.

Time Warner Cable enlisted Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Latham & Watkins and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to handle its sale.

New York corporate partners Robert Schumer, Ariel Deckelbaum and Ross Fieldston led the legal team at Paul Weiss while Washington DC-based Latham partners Matthew Brill and James Barker advised Time Warner Cable on strategic and regulatory advice, with Michael Egge handling antitrust matters.

The acquisition was backed by cable mogul John Malone’s Liberty Broadband, Charter’s largest shareholder, which agreed to purchase $4.3bn of Charter shares. Liberty is expected to control 25% of the aggregate voting power of New Charter and is expected to be its largest stockholder. Liberty instructed New York-based Baker Botts corporate partner Buzz McGrath to lead the deal, with support from corporate partner Renee Wilm and tax partner Tamar Stanley.

As part of the new company, Charter also purchased video service provider Bright House Networks for $10.4bn. Sullivan & Cromwell represented Bright House Networks and its owner, Advance/Newhouse Partnership, in connection with the sale. The team at Sullivan was led by New York-based corporate partner Brian Hamilton, with support from tax partner Ronald Creamer and antitrust partner Yvonne Quinn.