New York, Feb 13 (EFE).- Comcast, the United States' largest cable TV company, said Thursday that it had agreed to buy No. 2 operator Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion.
The merger has already been approved by the companies' boards of directors and will lead to the creation of a "leading technology and innovation company," Comcast and Time Warner Cable said in a joint statement.
Under the stock-for-stock transaction, which is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, Comcast has agreed to acquire 100 percent of Time Warner Cable's 284.9 million shares outstanding.
Each Time Warner Cable share will be exchanged for 2.875 shares of Comcast in the deal, which values the former at $45.2 billion, or $158.82 per share.
That amounts to a premium of $23.51 with respect to Time Warner Cable's closing price on Wednesday.
"The combination of Time Warner Cable and Comcast creates an exciting opportunity for our company, for our customers, and for our shareholders," Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said.
The chairman and chief executive of Time Warner Cable, Robert Marcus, said for his part that "this combination creates a company that delivers maximum value for our shareholders, enormous opportunities for our employees and a superior experience for our customers."
Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit will head up the merged company, according to the statement, in which the companies announced plans to launch new and innovative products and services for their subscribers.
Comcast has a total of 21.7 million video subscribers, while Time Warner Cable serves more than 11 million video customers, according to the New York Times.
The companies compete in very few markets and therefore very few customers will have their choice of cable operators reduced as a result of the merger, the Times said.
Even so, Comcast said it was prepared to divest systems serving some 3 million subscribers to alleviate competitive concerns and pave the way for approval of the deal by regulators.
Comcast was down 4.1 percent at $52.96 a share after midday on the Nasdaq, while Time Warner Cable had climbed 6.6 percent to $144.25 on the New York Stock Exchange. EFE
Original headline: Comcast buys Time Warner Cable for $45.2 bn
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