Comcast Corp. is acquiring Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion deal US in stock, the companies said in a press release Thursday. The deal combines the two largest cable companies in the United States, Bloomberg said in a report Thursday. The combined company will be headed by Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast’s cable division, the release said. Comcast, which said it is “prepared to divest systems serving approximately three million managed subscribers,” expects to gain around eight million subscribers though the deal, bringing its total subscribers to around 30 million. It said in the release that under the merger, “the company will be better able to offer advanced services like high-performance, point-to-point and multi-point ethernet services and cloud-based managed services to enterprises.” It added that “the transaction will combine complementary advertising platforms and channels and allow Comcast to offer broader and more valuable packages to national advertisers.” The deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2014, must still be approved by shareholders at both companies and is subject to regulatory review, the release noted.