People familiar with the matter said AT&T is about to reach a deal to sell a minority stake in its DirecTV, AT&T TV Now, and U-Verse businesses to private equity firm TPG.
People familiar with the matter said they may announce a deal as early as this week because the discussion is private and they did not want to be named.
This transaction will make AT&T’s business valuation reach about 15 billion US dollars. AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015 for US$48.5 billion (US$67 billion in liabilities).
In the past few years, AT&T has focused its media strategy on HBO Max, thereby getting rid of traditional pay TV. DirecTV, U-Verse and AT&T TV Now are established based on the linear TV service of broadcast and cable networks, which are losing millions of subscribers every year.
As the company reassessed its domestic video business, AT&T lost nearly 3 million video users last year and incurred $1
The sale will provide AT&T with additional cash to repay its debts. The total debt is about $150 billion, which has been on a downward trend in the past year.
The hedge fund Elliott Management bought an aggressive stake in AT&T in September 2019. In a letter to management, Elliott asked AT&T to focus on strategic businesses and consider divesting non-core assets including DirecTV. AT&T CEO John Stankey refused to sell it all.
TPG declined to comment. AT&T could not be reached immediately for comment.