This morning Charter and Comcast announced a three-part deal that effectively expands Charter’s geographic footprint and adds approximately 3.9 million customers to their subscriber base. Back in February, Comcast announced its intention to purchase Time Warner Cable which would make the company by far the largest cable company in the US. However, Comcast would need to reduce subscribers to less than 30% of the market share nationwide to pass regulations. The deal(s) announced today would divest 3.9 million subscribers post-merger. But, it’s a bit more complicated than just one transaction.
The first transaction would be a direct sale of 1.4 million Time Warner Cable subscribers to Charter Communications for cash. The deal would bring Charter’s subscribers to approximately 5.7 million.
The second transaction would be an exchange of approximately 1.6 million subscribers between Comcast-Time Warner Cable and Charter based on geographic locations in order to improve the efficiency of both companies.
The third transaction would be the formation of a spinoff company (not yet named) that would serve 2.5 million existing Comcast subscribers. The proposed public company would be run by a nine-member Board of Directors consisting of six independent directors and three directors designated by Charter. The spinoff company would be 67%-owned by Comcast shareholders (including former Time Warner Cable shareholders) and 33%-owned by the New Charter. Comcast would not own the new company nor would play a role in managing it.
“The transactions announced today will provide Charter with greater scale, growth opportunities and improved geographical rationalization of our cable systems, which in turn will drive value for shareholders and more effective customer service,” said Tom Rutledge, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charter Communications.