Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable, two leading U.S. cable businesses, on Thursday announced in a joint statement that they had agreed that the former acquires the latter at a cost of 45.2 billion dollars. The two companies also said that their boards of directors have approved the merger, which will be a conducted through a stock-for- stock scheme, as Comcast will acquire 100 percent of Time Warner Cable's 284.9 million outstanding shares for shares of Comcast. Each Time Warner Cable share will be exchanged for 2.875 shares of Comcast. Time Warner Cable shareholders will own approximately 23 percent of Comcast's common stock. Time Warner Cable's shares were valued at about 158.82 dollars apiece, 17 percent more than its close Wednesday. According to the joint statement, the transaction will generate approximately 1.5 billion dollars in operating efficiencies and improving balance sheet strength. The merger will also be tax free to Time Warner Cable shareholders. "This transaction will be accretive and will yield many synergies and benefits in the years ahead," said Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Comcast Corporation. "This combination creates a company that delivers maximum value for our shareholders, enormous opportunities for our employees and a superior experience for our customers," said Robert Marcus, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable. Comcast is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses -- Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers. Time Warner Cable owns cable systems located in key geographic areas, including New York City, two U.S. states of Southern California and Texas. Through the merger, Comcast will acquire Time Warner Cable's approximately 11 million managed subscribers. However, the merger agreement between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is subject to shareholder approval at both companies and regulatory review. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2014.