Confirmed: Comcast Acquires Time Warner Cable for $45.2 Billion
February 13, 2014 10:51 AM
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The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2014
Big cable just got much bigger: Comcast confirmed that it has
acquired Time Warner Cable
(TWC) in an all-stock transaction.
According to a joint press release by Comcast and TWC, the former acquired the latter for $45.2 billion, merging the two largest U.S. cable companies.
"The combination of Time Warner Cable and Comcast creates an exciting opportunity for our company, for our customers, and for our shareholders," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corporation. "In addition to creating a world-class company, this is a compelling financial and strategic transaction for our shareholders. Also, it is our intention to expand our buyback program by an additional $10 billion at the close of the transaction.
"We believe there are meaningful operational efficiencies and the adjusted purchase multiple is approximately 6.7x Operating Cash Flow. This transaction will be accretive and will yield many synergies and benefits in the years ahead. Rob Marcus and his team have created a pure-play cable company that, combined with Comcast, has the foundation for future growth. We are looking forward to working with his team as we bring our companies together to deliver the most innovative products and services and a superior customer experience within the highly competitive and dynamic marketplace in which we operate."
[SOURCE: Compare Satellite]
The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 (after approval by stockholders and regulators, of course), will give TWC investors 2.875 Comcast stock for each of their shares. TWC shares are valued at $158.82 a piece.
TWC shareholders will own about 23 percent of Comcast’s common stock, and the press release said Comcast plans to buy back an additional $10 billion of its shares.
The deal will up Comcast’s free cash flow per share and produce savings of about $1.5 billion. The overall acquisition values TWC at at about $69 billion including net debt.
The National Cable Television Association said Comcast and TWC merged would account for almost three-quarters of the cable industry.
This is sad news for Charter Communications Inc., which had been pursuing a potential deal with TWC since June 2013. Charter's offer to TWC was $132.50 per share.
Charter won't likely trump Comcast's bid, but it could grab some extra subscribers from the acquisition. Comcast will reportedly divest about 3 million subscribers of the acquisition in order to keep its market share below 30 percent -- meaning Charter could potentially buy whomever Comcast is willing to sell.
Up until the Comcast acquisition, both Comcast and Charter were talking an asset sale after the supposed Charter acquisition of TWC. But a meeting last week reportedly ended with Comcast threatening to do the deal itself without Charter. Comcast wanted to do an all-stock deal, have a say in how Charter dealt with its proxy fight with TWC, and pushed Charter to divest more assets.
With Comcast jumping ahead and doing the deed itself, it has now gained more than 11 million residential subscribers, not to mention it also gets access to the New York City cable market. This will likely allow it to hash out better deals with content providers. However, big cable is now huge, with Comcast clearly dominating the market more than ever. We'll have to wait and see if the deal passes regulatory approval, but Comcast is likely hoping that won't be an issue if it sells off some of its customers.
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2/13/2014 12:39:10 PM
I don't trust Congress to do the right thing and block this acquisition. We should be breaking monopolies like Comcast and Time Warner up instead of letting them merge! With the death of net neutrality, having one broadband provider with command of such a large market is a very dangerous situation for consumers.
2/13/2014 1:31:24 PM
I don't trust Congress to do the right thing and block this acquisition.
Yep, I imagine that Comcast contributes quite a bit of money to everybody's campaign funds...
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