AT&T has sold its minority stake in Hulu back to Hulu.
The transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion, with AT&T’s 9.5% interest worth $1.43 billion. The transaction did not require any governmental or other third-party approvals and was simultaneously signed and closed.
Hulu is the entity purchasing AT&T’s shares, and Hulu’s owners — Disney and Comcast — will have an undisclosed window of time to allocate the shares.
“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,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer.
The sale comes a few weeks after Disney closed its deal to buy 21st Century Fox Film’s film and TV assets, which gave the company a 60% majority stake in the streaming service. AT&T is also planning to launch its own streaming service later this year under its WarnerMedia brand.
AT&T will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt.
Not much is known about WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, except that it will have three tiers of service and debut at the end of this year. The service will offer an “entry-level movie-focused” package, a “premium service” with original programming and blockbuster movies and a third service that bundles content from the first two, plus a library of WarnerMedia and licensed content. Pricing for the tiers was not specified.
Last week, Disney unveiled Disney+, its own wholly-owned streaming service that will launch Nov. 12 and cost $6.99 a month.