Comcast would consider a spinoff of subscribers: source

Comcast would consider a spinoff of subscribers: source

Fri, Feb 28 2014

By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) – Comcast is considering spinning off the 3 million subscribers it has offered to divest as part of its proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable, into a publicly traded company, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The sources, who did not want to be named because the plans are private, said that Comcast had not yet made a decision and this is just one option it is considering. Comcast has said it is willing to divest 3 million subscribers to reduce U.S. regulators’ competitive concerns.

Comcast has said it plans to submit documents on its proposed Time Warner Cable acquisition to U.S. regulators by the end of March, when antitrust and public interest reviews will be launched.

The deal has drawn concern from consumer advocates and some lawmakers who worry that the new company’s size would give it too much power to decide what Americans can watch on TV and do online.

Comcast may sell the cable systems – whose location has yet to be determined – to a strategic buyer but a spinoff may be more tax efficient to shareholders of the combined company, the person added.

Bloomberg first reported the news of the potential spinoff on Friday.

The sources told Reuters that a spinoff was only one of several possibilities for the subscribers it needs to divest as part of the deal, which a second source said have already attracted interest from potential buyers.

It is not even clear whether the final number of subscribers to be divested will be the same as the three million initially mentioned, the second source said.

Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei said on Friday that Charter Communications would consider buying the subscribers Comcast is looking to divest. Liberty Media owns 27 percent of Charter.

Representatives from Charter and Time Warner Cable declined to comment while Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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