What happens when two giants unite? We're about to find out, as Comcast
on Thursday announced that its board of directors approved a definitive agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable
in a deal worth approximately $45.2 billion. Comcast describes the agreement as a "friendly, stock-for-stock transaction" in which owners of Time Warner Cable stock will receive 2.875 Comcast shares for each share they own, effectively valuing Time Warner Cable's stock at $158.82 per share.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable are the two biggest cable companies in the U.S. By joining forces, Comcast absorbs Time Warner Cable's 11 million subscribers. Given the size of these two firms, anti-competitive concerns are sure to surface, though Comcast says it's prepared to divest systems serving approximately 3 million managed subscribers to alleviate those concerns.
"This combination creates a company that delivers maximum value for our shareholders, enormous opportunities for our employees and a superior experience for our customers," said Robert D. Marcus, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable. "Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been the leaders in all of the industry's most important innovations of the last 25 years and this merger will accelerate the pace of that innovation."
The new company will be led by Comcast chief Neil Smit. As a result of the merger, Comcast expects to generate multiple pro-consumer and pro-competitive benefits, including a more rapid deployment of existing and new innovative products and services.