Time Warner Cable, the second largest US cable television operator, is in advanced talks to buy Carlyle Group's Insight Communications for about $3 billion (Dh11 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.
Time Warner Cable was expected to announce an agreement to buy Insight later on Monday, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. The talks may also fail to lead to a deal, they said.
The acquisition would be Time Warner Cable's biggest since its spin-off from Time Warner Inc in 2009 and may help the cable operator compensate for declining pay-TV demand. A wider footprint would let Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt reach more customers and cut duplicate sales staff and infrastructure.
Insight, based in New York, is the ninth-largest US cable operator, with 679,700 basic video customers in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, according to its website.
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Carlyle, a Washington-based private equity firm, along with co-founder Sidney Knafel and Michael Willner, took Insight private in 2005.
"Keeping up the scale is quite important for the cable companies because they are able to leverage the scale in terms of the number of TV subscribers they have when they are making deal with the content owners," said Richard Broughton, an analyst at IHS Screen Digest in London. "There are a lot of smaller operators all over the place."
Justin Venech, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable, and Chris Ullman, a Carlyle spokesman, declined to comment.
Time Warner Cable rose 77 cents to $65.51 on Friday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock climbed as much as 2.5 per cent in Germany and rose 1.4 per cent to the equivalent of $64.88 in Frankfurt yesterday.
Two other private-equity firms, Crestview Partners and MidOcean Partners, bought a stake in Insight from Carlyle and other shareholders last year.
Time Warner Cable wanted to pay about $2.5 billion for Insight and raised its offer after Insight's owners lowered their asking price.