AT&T Sells Stake In Hulu For $1.43 Billion
Hulu bought AT&T's 9.6 percent stake in the streaming service venture for $1.43 billion. The purchase raised the company's value to $15 billion.
In a press release, Hulu announced its agreement where AT&T sold its minority stake in Hulu. It was mentioned that the transaction does not need any approval from any governmental or third-party agencies thus the documents were simply signed and closed.
Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in the release, "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."
It was revealed that AT&T will use the money paid from the transaction to shrink its debt. As stated in Yahoo Finance, AT&T acquired Hulu stake last year after it closed a megadeal of taking over Time Warner Inc. for $85 billion. However, AT&T gained debts from this so it has now resold its stake to lessen its debt load.
With the sale of AT&T's stake, Disney and Comcast are the remaining owners now and they will have to decide how they want to deal with the transaction. The spokeswoman of Hulu said that the two owners still have time to determine how they want to distribute that 9.5 percent stake.
According to CNN, the news of stake selling was not a big surprise anymore. This is because WarnerMedia previously revealed to the public that it was mulling on putting its stake in Hulu up for sale. Also, the sale is an indication that wars in streaming ventures have already changed in the last few years and it has become more competitive.
Moreover, as per reports, the fact that the AT&T/WarnerMedia stake was sold to the JV instead of Disney means that NBCUniversal still wants to remain a key player in Hulu.
Meanwhile, the press contacted Comcast and Disney to further clarify and get more information about the ownership of the stakes now that AT&T sold its share but the reps did not immediately respond to the request.