is highly motivated to complete a $45 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable
. So much, in fact, that Comcast has come to a separate agreement with Charter Communications
to get rid of 3.9 million of subscribers, which is contingent on the TWC merger taking place. It's Comcast's hope that divesting itself of subscribers will be enough to ease regulatory concerns over its deal with TWC.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal
, Comcast agreed to sell 1.4 million existing TWC customers to Charter for around $7.3 billion in cash. In addition, Comcast would create a new publicly traded company made up of another 2.5 million existing Comcast subscribers. The new cable company would be majority owned by Comcast shareholders, who collectively would own 67 percent, with an overall valuation of $14.3 billion.
As part of the deal, TWC and Charter would each give the other 1.6 million subscribers. The swap is intended to improve each company's geographic footprint, WSJ
"Today's agreement follows through on our willingness to divest subscribers, while also making an important step in our merger with Time Warner Cable," Comcast CEO Brian Robers said.
As proposed, the deals that are in place would reduce Comcast's residential subscribers to less than 30 percent of the pay-TV market once all the transactions are in place. It would also make Charter the second largest cable company in the U.S., bumping it up two spots.