And then there are two. Hulu, just one month ago, is owned by four big media companies – Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and AT & T / Werner Media – will be co-owned by Disney and NBCU. AT & T and Hulu have exploded into a deal for AT & T to sell its minor stake to Hulu back to the video streaming joint venture.
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billion, with AT & T's 9.5% interest worth $ 1.43 billion.
Following the recent $ 71.3 billion acquisition of Disney's 21st Century Fox assets, including its stake in Hulu, Disney has become a major joint venture stake in nearly 60%, followed by NBCU (30%) and WernerMedia. The two remaining owners will now provide 9.5% share of WarnerMedia. The conventional split is based on the current ownership of Disney and NBCU (2: 1), but everything will be negotiated between the two sides in the coming weeks.
Hulu has been a major part of Disney's portfolio and was featured during a large-scale presentationwill direct-to-consumer company last week. Today's transaction undoubtedly creates further conjecture that Disney can be the only Hulu owner.
"We are grateful to AT & T for their support and investment over the past two years and look forward to future cooperation. WarnerMedia will remain an important partner in Hulu for the coming years as we offer customers of the best of TV, live and on demand, all in one place, "says Hulu CEO Randy Freer.
The transaction does not require any government approvals or other third-party approvals and simultaneously signed and closed.
AT & T can use the proceeds from this transaction, with additional planned sales of non-primary assets, to reduce the following debt to his $ 85 billion acquisition of Time Warner last summer.
AT & T SVP and CFO John Stephens last month said that growing WarnerMedia and debt relief are the top priorities of the company. The telco closed at Warner's time of $ 180 billion in debt, shipped $ 9 billion by the end of 2018 and said it could use another $ 12 billion in free cash flow to continue paying it.