Comcast Corp. wants Time Warner Inc. to register Comcast’s 17.9% stake in Time Warner Cable -- the first step in eventually monetizing that asset.
Comcast received 21% equity in Time Warner Cable in March as part of the restructuring of the Time Warner Entertainment L.P. partnership.
According to a securities filing by Time Warner Dec. 31, Comcast owns a 17.9% direct interest in Time Warner Cable and a 4.7% residual equity interest in MSO subsidiary TWE. Monetizing that 4.7% stake would likely require a separate transaction.
The next step in the process would be for Time Warner Cable to file a formal registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sources close to the situation said that would be unlikely until Time Warner resolves a separate SEC investigation of its America Online Inc. unit.
Time Warner has said in the past that it is cooperating with the SEC in the AOL investigation, which is ongoing.
Comcast’s interest in Time Warner Cable is held in a trust -- a condition of federal approval of the Philadelphia-based MSO’s acquisition of AT&T Broadband in 2002 -- and Comcast has indicated a desire to sell that stake at some point in the future.
Comcast has until 2007 to divest the Time Warner Cable position.