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Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) said on Thursday it will spin off Time Warner Cable (TWC.N)

2009.02.21

Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) said on Thursday it will spin off Time Warner Cable (TWC.N), sketching out more details to a plan unveiled in 2008 to split the company's media content and distribution businesses.

The separation will be completed by the end of the current quarter through a "spin-off distribution," the companies said.

 

The process will involve a pro-rata dividend of all Time Warner Cable stock held by Time Warner to Time Warner shareholders, but the companies did not say in Thursday's statement how this would be accomplished or offer more details.

 

This month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved the proposed spinoff with no major conditions, clearing the last major hurdle to the long-awaited deal.

 

The plan will break up a two-decade marriage of traditional distribution and content, a strategic combination of assets that has fallen out of favor on Wall Street as big media corporations compete with faster-moving Internet companies.

 

Wall Street has clamored for the once top media company to streamline its focus as a pure media content company -- with the Warner Bros movie studios, Time Inc magazines and Turner cable networks -- and stem a stock-price decline.

 

In addition, Time Warner Inc and its cable division have long believed the capital structure requirements for cable operators are different from a more diverse portfolio of assets, making quick decisions difficult.

 

Under a previously announced, detailed plan, Time Warner had intended to completely split from the cable arm by the end of 2008, in return for a $9.25 billion payout in one-time dividends.

http://www.reuters.com/article/innovationNews/idUSTRE51J0DG20090220

 

 

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