Aug 10, 2017

Charter Communications has yet another suitor

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Dutch cable operator Altice reportedly is considering a takeover bid for Charter Communications, a Stamford, Conn.-based cable and broadband provider that has a current market cap over $100 billion and an enterprise value of around $175 billion. The big question is if Altice can include enough cash to satisfy John Malone's Liberty Media, which holds 20.5% of Charter's equity and 25% of its voting stock.

Why it matters: Because everyone seems to want to buy Charter, even though its stock is now at an all-time high. First it was Verizon. Then it was SoftBank. Now it's Altice.

Context: There is an expectation that Trump's FCC would bless almost any such tie-up, perhaps based on its decision to not review AT&T/Time Warner, and its recent decision to overturn Obama-era broadband "overbuild" requirements Charter faced as a result of its Time Warner Cable and Bright House purchases.

Bottom line from CNBC's David Faber:

"[Altice's Patrick] Drahi and SoftBank's Masayoshi Son are men unafraid of taking on vast amounts of debt to fuel their ambitions, but it's not clear Charter management or John Malone, the chairman of Liberty, has interest in accepting a deal in which much of the value they give up is traded for stock in a new company, laden with debt and reliant on the cash flow of Charter to pay down that debt."

Go deeper

America's funeral homes buckle under the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries in hot spots across America cannot keep up with the staggering death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen more than 10,000 deaths from the virus, and at least tens of thousands more lives are projected to be lost. The numbers are creating unprecedented bottlenecks in the funeral industry — and social distancing is changing the way the families say goodbye to their loved ones.

Navarro memos warning of mass coronavirus death circulated in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

The state of play: By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: The virus hits home

Data: Ipsos/Axios poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The share of Americans who know someone who's tested positive has more than tripled in just a few weeks, to 14%, according to the latest installment of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

  • It's still highest in the Northeast, but last week alone it doubled in the South — and it's becoming most pronounced among people who still must leave home to work.
Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health