In what was one of the worst-kept secrets in cabledom, Comcast and Charter Communications have agreed on a complicated deal that will involve the exchange of nearly 4 million subscribers in systems across the country, eventually doubling the Connecticut-based MSO’s footprint and eliminating any possibility that it would stand in the way of the pending $69 billion Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger.
The deal will be completed in three stages: Charter will purchase outright about 1.4 million TWC customers in the first stage; in the second stage Charter and Comcast will swap a total of 1.6 million subscribers in a tax-efficient exchange.
In the third leg of the transaction, Comcast will spin off about 2.5 million customers into a separately publicly traded company of which Charter would own about 33%.
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