In a decision posted on its website today, the FCC finally gave approval for Time Warner Cable’s spinoff from Time Warner. Now the deal only needs an okay from the IRS to be complete. Time Warner says it expects to finish the separation by the end of the current quarter. When the deal closes, America’s 2nd-largest cable operator will pay a $10.9 billion special dividend to its own shareholders, with $9.25 billion of that going to the world’s biggest media company which owns 83% of the cable provider. Jeff Bewkes has said Time Warner is getting out of the cable business because it no longer needs in-house distribution for CNN, HBO and its other channels. Bewkes said in a recent earnings call that Time Warner will use the $9.25 billion payment from the cable split to reduce debt, reinvest in the movie and TV units, maintain the quarterly dividend and resume buying back shares. The CEO is also seeking a similar spinoff deal for Time Warner’s AOL.
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