Cable monolith to announce deal Thursday
Comcast is set to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, Reuters reports.
Both CNBC and Bloomberg News also reported on Wednesday that the country's largest cable company was set to purchase TWC. Reuters said it would be sold for $158.82 per share in an all-stock deal.
Charter Communications had previously been attempting a hostile takeover, which TWC's chairman rejected on Tuesday as trying to “steal the company.”
Comcast is planning to acquire all of Time Warner Cable's shares in the friendly deal, set to be announced on Thursday morning, according to sources. Time Warner Cable and Comcast declined to comment to TheWrap on Wednesday night.
Comcast plans to expand its stock buyback program to $10 billion at the close of the transaction, Reuters’ sources said.
A merger between the two cable giants would surely require scrutiny by the FCC.
Charter had made an offer around $37.3 billion, excluding debt for the company.
On Tuesday, Time Warner Cable issued a statement in response to receiving notice that Charter Communications was seeking control of the Time Warner Cable Board by nominating 13 directors for election at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Charter previously made a proposal to acquire Time Warner Cable for $82.54 in cash and 0.372 CHTR share per TWC share, which was unanimously rejected as grossly inadequate by Time Warner Cable's Board of Directors.
Rob Marcus, Time Warner Cable's Chairman and CEO said: “It is clear that Charter is nominating a slate of directors for the sole purpose of pressuring our Board into accepting the same lowball offer that it previously considered and unanimously rejected. Our Board remains focused on maximizing shareholder value. We are confident in our strategic plan, which was detailed publicly on January 30, and we are not going to let Charter steal the company.”
Time Warner spun off its cable operation in 2009.
Last month, Charter indicated that it has been pursuing Time Warner Cable for six months, and that both sides met about it in December.
“Charter has made repeated overtures to Time Warner Cable on this topic for more than six months,” Charter said. “Until December, Time Warner Cable chose not to engage or find out more. The CEOs and CFOs respectively met in December to walk through Charter's plan including the structure, financing, tax and cash flow aspects of a transaction, but the flow of information has been exclusively one-way.”
The deal comes four years after Comcast purchased a majority stake in NBCUniversal. It took full ownership of the company last year.