Privately held Cox Communications is exploring a potential offer for Time Warner Cable (TWC), according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The report said Cox, the third-largest U.S. cable operator, may pursue an acquisition on its own or with other bidders. A person familiar with the situation told the Journal that Cox has made it clear the company wants to expand and isn’t on the block.
A Cox spokesperson confirmed the company isn’t for sale but declined to comment on the possibility of a bid for Time Warner Cable.
Speculation over cable consolidation ramped up last week, when reports indicated that Charter Communications (CHTR) and Comcast (CMCSA) are each weighing options.
The two have reportedly talked about a joint bid that would divide Time Warner Cable between them, while either company could launch a takeover attempt independently.
The Journal recently said Charter, backed by John Malone’s Liberty Media (LMCA), is close to securing financing for a bid.
Comcast, the top cable company, is said to be Time Warner Cable’s preferred deal partner, although a combination would likely face regulatory scrutiny. Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator.
Time Warner Cable share climbed another 4% to $136.72 in late afternoon trading. Through Monday’s close, the stock was already up 9% since talk of a potential deal resurfaced.