I may have been skeptical, but AT&T’s interest in Time Warner turned out to be the real thing. Today they agreed to purchase the media giant for $107.50 per share in a deal worth $109B with Time Warner’s debt included.
If the deal makes its way over the various regulatory hurdles, AT&T will join Verizon and Comcast as the owner of a content empire, taking control of HBO, TNT, TBS, CNN, Warner Bros, and other cable properties. The purchase price will be composed of 50% cash and 50% stock, with the latter subject to a collar. In the end, Time Warner shareholders will own about 15% of the combined company. But on the ground little will change for now. Even if everything goes well, it won’t close until the end of 2017.
And of course there is the wildcard factor. Before the deal was officially announced, a presidential candidate weighed in on the deal, railing against the concentration of too much power in too few corporate hands. And it wasn’t the Democrat. Yep, Donald Trump promised to not only stop the deal, but to perhaps break up Comcast and NBC Universal as well, which would seem to put AT&T in Hillary Clinton’s corner. If you’re confused, either it will be moot or two and a half weeks, or a whole lot more things are going to be confusing anyway.
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