Charter Communications is preparing to make an official bid for Time Warner Cable. A new report from Bloomberg News claims that the fourth-largest US cable provider aims to acquire its larger competitor for less than $140 per share. That offer is above Time Warner Cable's current $132.60 stock value, but reportedly still falls below what TWC executives are looking for.

The second-largest US cable operator would "probably" accept a bid between $150 and $160 a share, Bloomberg News' sources say, so Charter's rumored offer may not be enough to get the deal done. Comcast is reportedly sitting this one out for now, despite earlier rumors that it would team up with Charter to purchase and split Time Warner Cable's assets. Bloomberg notes that Comcast "is monitoring Charter's moves," however. Charter reportedly believes a successful buyout of Time Warner Cable would give it added leverage in future dealmaking discussions with television networks. But as TWC can attest after a lengthy battle with CBS, it's not always that simple.