Comcast plans to announce that it has struck a deal with Time Warner Cable to acquire the nation’s second largest cable MSO for $44 billion in stock, CNBC and other media outlets reported.
News of the agreement, which would see Comcast acquire TWC for about $159 per share, came one day after Charter Communications announced that it would nominate 13 directors for TWC’s board of directors in an attempt to execute a hostile takeover of TWC. Charter offered to acquire TWC for $132.50 per share last month.
A combined Comcast-TWC would create a cable MSO with 33 million subscribers, counting 13 million more video subscribers than DirecTV, which ended third quarter with around 20 million U.S. subscribers.
But Comcast said that it is “prepared” to divest cable systems counting about 3 million subscribers. In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals threw out the FCC’s cable system ownership cap, which said that no single cable MSO could own systems with more than 30 percent of all U.S. subscribers. Comcast said it expects to count about 30 million subscribers nationwide, after closing the TWC merger and system divestures.