BURBANK, California and DALLAS, Texas - The Walt Disney Company and AT&T have announced a definitive agreement in which the Walt Disney Company will acquire most of WarnerMedia for about $46.5 billion in stock.
As per the agreement, AT&T shareholders will receive one share in WarnerMedia for every six shares they hold in AT&T. Disney will then exchange 0.40 shares for each WarnerMedia share.
While it may seem peculiar that AT&T is selling the WarnerMedia assets so soon, it is known that all AT&T really wanted was the HBO properties, and that it can do without the rest.
What is the rest? The Warner Bros. movie studio, the Turner cable networks, and DC Comics. Despite being poised to clinch control over most of 21st Century Fox, Disney was still on the hunt for content assets. It will, combined with its own assets and those of Fox, gain ownership of the largest feature film library in the world, lucrative licenses like Looney Tunes, Harry Potter and the DC superheroes Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and fill Disney's cable news gap with CNN. It is expected that Disney will merge CNN with its own ABC News to cut costs.
"These assets are unlike any other," said Disney chief Bob Iger. "We could not pass up the once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform the Disney legacy for the better. Our company will never be the same."
AT&T did not comment on the deal.
CORRECTION: Misidentified distribution of WarnerMedia shares.