AT&T and Hulu have agreed a deal which sees AT&T sell its minority stake in Hulu back to the streaming video joint venture. The transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion (€13.2bn), with AT&T’s 9.5 per cent interest valued at $1.43 billion. The transaction did not require any governmental or other third-party approvals and was simultaneously signed and closed.
“We thank AT&T for their support and investment over the past two years and look forward to collaboration in the future. WarnerMedia will remain a valued partner to Hulu for years to come as we offer customers the best of TV, live and on demand, all in one place,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer.
AT&T will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt.
The move leaves Disney and Comcast as Hulu’s owners, with speculation that Comcast will also dispose of its stake, leaving Disney the sole owner, with the possibility of bundling Hulu with its planned Disney+ direct-to-consumer service set for launch on November 12th.
The Walt Disney Co. ended up with a 60 per cent share after its purchase of much of 21st Century Fox, which included Fox’s Hulu stake. NBCUniversal parent Comcast owns 30 per cent. AT&T acquired its Hulu interest after buying Time Warner.