Report: Disney in talks to acquire WarnerMedia’s Hulu stake

Disney is in active talks with AT&T to acquire WarnerMedia’s 10% stake in Hulu, according to reports.

The house of mouse is already set to own 60% of the US streamer once it closes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets. If the deal with WarnerMedia were to go forward, it would have a majority stake of 70% in Hulu.

The news arrives after AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said at the UBS Media Conference in December that the company is considering selling off its 10% Hulu stake to bring down company debt so that it is no more than 2.5 times its earnings by the end of 2019.

Disney laid out big plans for Hulu in its Q4 results. Company chief Bob Iger has said that Disney plans to place adult-oriented content driven by Fox on the Handmaid’s Tale streamer, while own-brand streamer Disney+ will focus on family content.

Iger also expressed a desire to expand Hulu outside of the US and hike up its price to grow its subscriber numbers.

Disney will have to wait to close its deal with Fox and meet with the Hulu team and board to push plans forward, however.

Comcast, which owns the remaining 30% in the streamer, is not looking to sell its stake to Disney, according to Variety which first reported the story.

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