To get ahead of regulator’s anti-trust concerns regarding the planned merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, a framework for a new cable MSO, made up from divested Comcast and Time Warner Cable properties, was formed. The new “SpinCo” is a complex transaction, including the divestment of Comcast and TWC properties, as well as swaps of existing Charter customers with Comcast.
GreatLand Connections is Born
The end result is a “new” cable MSO, with approximately 2.5 million customers in markets across the Midwest and Southeast called GreatLand Connections. Charter, who was originally in the TWC acquisition hunt, gets a consolation prize of 33% ownership of the new cable MSO, as well as an operating contract to run the properties. GreatLand Connections will operate in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
“We are pleased to publicly announce the name of this exciting new company we are building,” said Michael Willner, President and Chief Executive Officer of GreatLand Connections in a press release. “The name GreatLand Connections pays homage to the rich history and striking geographies of the diverse communities in which the company will operate. It brings to mind our commitment to connecting people and businesses with terrific products and excellent service in the almost 1000 historic communities – large and small – across the 11 states we will serve.”
All of this is contingent on the Comcast – TWC merger being approved by various regulators. It’s a process that’s run into some trouble, with Comcast and TWC acknowledging approval will now not likely come until the 1st quarter of 2015. Original estimates had the transaction closing later this year.