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AT&T announced Monday that it was spinning off WarnerMedia into an independent company that will merge with Discovery Inc. and be run by Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
Under the terms of the all-stock agreement, AT&T will receive $43 billion (a figure subject to adjustment) in a combination of cash, debt securities and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt, and AT&T’s shareholders will receive stock representing 71% of the new company. Discovery shareholders will own 29% of the new company, which Zaslav said would announced its new name in coming days. The boards of directors at both companies have approved the merger.
The estimated combined value of the new company, which is expected to have its name revealed imminently, is $130 billion, TheWrap has learned.
The deal, which is expected to close in mid-2022 subject to regulatory approval and a vote by Discovery shareholders will create an entertainment juggernaut that seeks to rival Netflix and Disney, and puts the likes of Warner Bros., CNN, Turner and Discovery’s stable of nonfiction networks under one roof — as well as two competing streaming services, Discovery+ and HBO Max. It also combines WarnerMedia’s U.S. sports rights like the NBA, MLB and March Madness with Discovery international sports giant Eurosport.
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