Time Warner Cable Shareholders Approve Comcast Deal

Brian Roberts Comcast CEO  Close Up - H 2014
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Brian Roberts Comcast CEO  Close Up - H 2014

A special shareholder meeting in New York on Thursday also approved "golden parachutes" for executives

Time Warner Cable shareholders on Thursday approved the planned $45 billion takeover of the company by Comcast and so-called "golden parachute" payments to top executives.

The second-largest U.S. cable company, led by chairman and CEO Rob Marcus, held a special shareholder meeting on the deal in New York. Afterwards, it issued a statement saying that more than 99 percent of the votes cast were in support of the proposed acquisition by Comcast.

Read more Comcast Accuses Time Warner Cable Deal Opponents of "Extortion"

The deal must still be approved by regulators. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has said he was "cautiously optimistic" that regulators would allow the acquisition of the second-largest U.S. cable operator by the largest cable company.

Comcast shareholders approved the deal at a meeting in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Comcast on Wednesday said that subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in early 2015.

Shareholders also approved so-called "golden parachute" compensation payments for the company's top executive officers. The vote was nonbinding and only advisory. Even if stockholders had said no, while still approving the overall merger, TW Cable could have still made those payments.

Marcus is set to receive almost $80 million in golden parachute compensation, with $27 million going to CFO Arthur Minson and $16 million to chief technology officer Michael LaJoie.

Marcus on Thursday promised "even better video experiences" and more robust VOD content libraries after the deal, highlighting that his team remained "laser-focused" on strong business execution during the regulatory review. Asked about the impact on competition, Marcus said the merged company will be in a stronger position.

One attendee at the meeting Thursday criticized planned golden parachute payments to top Time Warner Cable top executives as part of the Comcast deal. Marcus said the company has in its proxy statement and other comments outlined why shareholders should approve them. He also said much compensation will be in stock, and shareholders will benefit from a stronger company that will provide growth upside.

Oct. 9, 8:02 a.m. Updated with final voting results.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai