AT&T has officially confirmed it plans to acquire media giant Time Warner for $107.50 per share, which is equal to about $85.4 billion. Rumors about AT&T’s talks with Time Warner about such a deal began going public earlier this week.
The phone and internet service provider is paying for the deal with 50 percent cash and 50 percent in shares. When the deal closes, Time Warner shareholders will own between 14.4 percent and 15.7 percent of AT&T shares. The deal is still subject to approval of each company’s shareholders, along with government regulatory approval. AT&T expects the deal to close sometime before the end of 2017.
Time Warner owns a ton of media properties, including the film company Warner Bros. Studios, cable TV networks like CNN, TNT, and HBO, and DC Comics, home to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and and other characters. AT&T says its mobile phone customers will benefit from this deal:
With a mobile network that covers more than 315 million people in the United States, the combined company will strive to become the first U.S. mobile provider to compete nationwide with cable companies in the provision of bundled mobile broadband and video. It will disrupt the traditional entertainment model and push the boundaries on mobile content availability for the benefit of customers. And it will deliver more innovation with new forms of original content built for mobile and social, which builds on Time Warner’s HBO Now and the upcoming launch of AT&T’s OTT offering DIRECTV NOW.
The Wall Street Journal claims that current AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will become the head of the combined company, while current Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will depart after an undetermined transition period.