April 15, 2019
As expected, AT&T has sold its minority stake in Hulu back to the streaming video joint venture, according to a joint press release from AT&T and Hulu April 15.
The deal leaves the Walt Disney Co. and Comcast as owners of the SVOD and online TV service, Hulu with Live TV.
The transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion, with AT&T’s 9.5% interest valued at $1.43 billion, according to the joint press release. The transaction did not require any governmental or other third-party approvals and was simultaneously signed and closed, according to the release.
AT&T will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt, according to 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,” Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in a statement.
The transaction comes less than three years after Time Warner acquired the 10% stake in Hulu for $583 million, which at the time valued the SVOD service at $5.8 billion.
After AT&T acquired Time Warner for $85.4 billion, the telecom was left with about $180 billion in debt. The Hulu asset sale is part of management’s plans to reduce debt by $12 billion in 2019, on top of the $9 billion cut last year.