Liberty Media Close to Buying 25 Percent of Charter

John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. is nearing a deal to buy 25 percent of Charter Communications Inc. for close to $2.5 billion, say people familiar with the situation.

A deal would mark Mr. Malone’s first big investment in a U.S. cable system since selling Tele-Communications Inc. to AT&T in 1999. Charter is the eighth biggest pay-TV provider, with about four million subscribers. Charter’s stock jumped 8.3 percent in early afternoon trading in the wake of The Wall Street Journal’s report of Liberty’s expected investment.

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