Comcast buys Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion

Comcast Corp announced on Thursday it is about to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion according to the boards of both companies which approved the deal early Thursday morning.

The takeover surprisingly came after months of public pursuit of Time Warner Cable by smaller rival Charter Communications Inc., and raised questions as to whether it would pass regulatory inspection.

Time Warner Cable shareholders will receive $158.82 a share, nearly 18% above where Time Warner Cable shares closed Wednesday’s session.

The merged company would transfer 3 million subscribers, about a quarter of Time Warner’s 12 million customers. Together with Comcast’s 22 million video subscribers they would represent just under 30% of the U.S. pay television video market.

The merged cable giant would rise up over its closest video competitor, DirecTV, which has about 20 million video subscribers.

In a response to the merger, Time Warner Cable shares rallied 12.3% in trading before the opening bell, while Comcast increased 2.3%.

After regulatory approval the merger, which would give roughly 23% of the merged company to Time Warner Cable shareholders, is expected be completed by the end of the year.

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