AT&T CFO: WarnerMedia Sale to Discovery Expected to Close First Half of 2022

AT&T’s WarnerMedia minority stake sale to Discovery remains on schedule to close in the first six months of 2022, according to AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches.

Speaking at the virtual Bank of America Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Desroches said the $43 billion deal affording Discovery operating control of Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO and Turner is in compliance with government rules surrounding antitrust issues, adding he saw no reason why the merger wouldn’t be approved.

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“We feel really good about the ability of this to be approved,” he said.

Pascal Desroches

After racking up $180 billion in debt acquiring assets, including Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) and DirecTV, AT&T has been selling off minority stakes (and operating control) in both companies and others in an effort to reduce debt, generate cash and focus on its legacy telecom business, in addition to broadband and 5G distribution.

The telecom is selling Vrio, the Latin American operating unit of DirecTV with more than 10 million subscribers, to a private Argentinian company. This week it announced a reported $50 million sale of tabloid channel TMZ to Fox Corp.

AT&T CEO John Stankey has also suggested a possible merger between DirecTV and Dish Network assets — a move the latter’s founder/chairman Charlie Ergen has been advocating for years.

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