On yet another day when the stock market is tanking comes this Wall Street play: Time Warner announced that it’s agreed on a plan to separate from Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 U.S. cable TV service provider. The move, which had been expected, is being billed in news reports as a chance for the companies to have more flexibility to compete in their respective fields and give investors a better choice how to allocate their assets. But, c’mon: a fat dividend for TWX and additional debt for TWC? Which side would you like to be on? And to think, it was Gerry Levin’s cable play that got him the top spot at the company in the first place oh those many years ago. Of course, his successor Dick Parsons should have divorced cable but didn’t have the balls. So again it falls to Parsons’ successor TW boss Jeff Bewkes to do all the unpopular heavy lifting: he said today that, among other details of the transaction, Time Warner Cable will declare a dividend of $10.9 billion, of which Time Warner Inc. will receive $9.25 billion. Time Warner will distribute its stake in Time Warner Cable to TWX holders. and Time Warner Cable will have a single class of stock when the deal is done. I think TWC deserved a better divorce lawyer.
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