Comcast Corp (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) have reportedly begun negotiations to sell up to $20 billion worth of assets to Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR), including three million and five million subscribers, to help win regulatory approval for their proposed $42.5 billion, or $159 a share merger, the Financial Times reports.
The proposed blockbuster merger, announced in February, would combine the nation’s top two cable TV companies and would create an entity with more than 33 million subscribers and operations in some of the country’s biggest markets, including New York City, LA, Chicago, Texas, Philadelphia (Comcast’s headquarters) and Washington, D.C.
Charter, the fourth-largest U.S. cable company, had pursued Time Warner Cable for months, offering $38 billion in cash and stock worth $132.50 per share, a bid consistently rejected as too low by Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus.
Shares of Comcast, Time Warner and Charter closed at $49.10, $135.33 and $117.83 respectively, on Friday.
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