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Telecom giant and WarnerMedia owner AT&T is interested in selling a “significant” minority stake in its pay-television business, according to CNBC.
The company would sell a stake in its DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse and AT&T Now businesses, which combine for about 17 million pay-TV subscribers. A number of private equity firms, including Apollo Management, are said to be submitting bids, which would be due next month.
AT&T has said in recent months that it is pursuing divestitures or other sales to try and reduce its $150 billion-plus debt load. The pay-TV business is all but certain to be valued at far, far less than the $67 billion the company paid for DirecTV in 2015 inclusive of debt.
In the past couple of months, AT&T has sold its Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands businesses to Liberty Latin America for $2 billion, and sold its $1.1 billion stake in Central European Media Enterprises. AT&T also reportedly weighed selling its Warner Bros. video game division, but that talk died down after Jason Kilar joined WarnerMedia as CEO earlier this year.
“The $500 billion of assets on our total balance sheet also gives us ample opportunity to continue to strengthen our cash position by monetizing non-core assets,” AT&T CFO John Stephens told analysts n the company’s last earnings call. AT&T EO John Stankey declined to comment when asked directly about M&A activity involving DirecTV.
Correction: This article initially misstated the name of the company AT&T sold its Puerto Rico and Virgin Island businesses to.
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