Hulu buys back AT&T’s minority stake in streaming service now valued at $15 billion
has paid $1.43 billion to buy AT&T’s minority stake in the streaming video company.
The companies announced Monday that the transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion. As a result, AT&T’s 9.5 percent stake in Hulu was worth $1.43 billion.
The valuation is two-thirds higher than last November when Disney reported in a regulatory filing that the streaming video company was worth $9.26 billion. Hulu is owned through by Hulu LLC, a joint venture of Disney and Comcast. Disney now has a 67 percent ownership of Hulu, which it gained, in part, through its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Comcast has a 33 percent stake in Hulu.
AT&T, which has been hinting about selling its minority stake in Hulu since November, will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt.
“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,” Hulu CEOsaid in statement.
AT&T acquired the 9.5 percent percent stake in the service by way of WarnerMedia, as a result of its Time Warner acquisition .
AT&T and Hulu were increasingly looking like competitors, not partners. AT&T has its own streaming services, including cord-cutter friendly live TV service DirecTV Now, more lightweight WatchTV and another upcoming direct-to-consumer service that will launch later this year and leverages its WarnerMedia properties.
This new AT&T streaming service. which will work across devices, will launch into beta in Q4 2019, AT&T has said. The service is expected to expand over time to include third-party content through partnerships.
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