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Comcast proposes up to $135 million in 'golden parachute compensation' for senior Time Warner Cable executives if the merger of the two companies is successfully completed.

TWC Execs' Prize? A Cool $135M

Mari Silbey
3/21/2014
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Glenn Britt may have left Time Warner Cable just a few months too soon. That's because new TWC Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus could be in for a very big payday if Comcast succeeds in buying out the company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document that Comcast filed Thursday.

If Marcus doesn't stay on at the new combined entity, he could be entitled to nearly $80 million in cash, equity, and other benefits, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. Add in the proposed payouts to Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) CFO Arthur Minson, CTO Mike LaJoie, and business services chief Phil Meeks and the "golden parachute compensation" for the four members of the TWC executive team could total $134,964,288. For simplicity's sake, let's round that up to a cool $135 million.

To be fair, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) notes in the SEC filing that its dollar figures are "estimated based on multiple assumptions that may or may not actually occur." At this point, however, the MSO has already said that current Comcast Cable President and CEO Cable Neil Smit would be in charge of the newly merged company if the acquisition closes, and there's only room for so many cooks in the kitchen. The SEC document has Minson receiving just over $27 million in compensation, LaJoie getting $16.3 million, and Phil Meeks taking home $11.7 million.

Of course, there are still hurdles ahead before Comcast can make good on its plan to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, plus another $24 billion in assumed debt. Shareholders have to vote on the deal, and regulators have to give their blessing.

Multiple states, including Florida, are joining with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for its antitrust review according to Reuters, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must also approve the merger. Plus, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing to examine the impact of a deal on consumers on April 2.

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— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/23/2014 | 4:00:43 PM
Re: $80M
Who says cable is a dying business? Not these guys. With that kind of money, there must be an assumption that somehow piping video into homes the old way somehow has futuristic prospects. 

Well, they at least still have live sports. And broadband, always the broadband. 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/23/2014 | 1:54:59 PM
Re: $80M
While there's a lot of opposition to the mergers, I'll bet (a wager of somewhat less than $135M) that the giant companies will eventually get the go ahead. With stakes that high for bonus money, there's bound so be some heavy duty lobbying to make it a go.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/21/2014 | 5:19:24 PM
$80M
I'd like to get a few million dollars to quit my job. 

I was once offered ten dollars to leave a party. Not the same. 
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