UPDATE: Liberty Media acquires 27.3% in Charter Communications

Liberty Media has agreed to buy a 26.7% stake in Charter Communications for a reported $2.617 billion.

Liberty is buying its stake directly from three of Charter’s top shareholders - Apollo Global, Charter’s top shareholder, Oaktree Capital Management and Crestview Partners.

Apollo is thought to be taking $1.7 billion from the deal which should be complete early in the second financial quarter.

Chairman of Liberty John Malone will pay $95.50 per share to acquire the 26.9 million shares and Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty said the company was “excited” to invest in the “fourth largest cable provider in the US”.

“Tom Rutledge and his team have done an impressive job of turning around Charter's operations and improving its financial position.

“We look forward to working with Charter's management team and fellow board members in the future."

Tom Rutledge, CEO and president of charter, commented they “welcome the addition of Liberty Media as a knowledgeable shareholders as we grow our products, service capabilities and market share”.

“Liberty Media and John Malone have a well proven track record in our industry and in creating shareholder value.”

He added: “All of us at Charter appreciate the contributions of Apollo, Oaktree and Crestview which put us on a path for sustainable success."

Liberty intends to fund the purchase through cash on hand and new loan arrangements.