Shareholders to receive dividends March 27

Marking the final step in an arduous journey to be rid of cable systems, Time Warner set March 12 as the date of the spinoff of its Time Warner Cable stake.

The media conglom, which once owned all of Time Warner Cable, reduced its stake to 84% several years ago and then in 2008 finally announced plans to shed the remainder.

Late Thursday, execs said all Time Warner shareholders of record as of March 12 will get a dividend distribution March 27.

Both companies are also effecting one-for-three reverse stock splits in connection with the separation. As a result, Time Warner expects to distribute about one-twelfth of a share of Time Warner Cable stock for each share of Time Warner common stock.

Time Warner Cable also will pay a special cash dividend of about $10.9 billion to its shareholders, which works out to about $10.27 a share.

“Both companies will be better positioned to compete,” Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes said of the split. “At the remaining Time Warner businesses, we’ll stay focused on what we do best — creating, packaging and distributing our branded, high-quality content.”

The stocks of both Time Warner and Time Warner Cable lost ground Thursday. Cable shares fell almost 1% to $18.34 and Time Warner dipped almost 5% to $7.54. Both rebounded in after-hours trading on the news.

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