AT&T considered the sale of a minority stake in its family of pay-TV businesses, CNBC reported, appearing to shift strategy after a proposed deal to offload its DirecTV unit alone elicited lowball offers.
CNBC reported a proposal currently under consideration would span the operator’s DirecTV, AT&T Now and U-verse units, with the operator ceding management of distribution operations but retaining control of fibre infrastructure used by the services. It could sell as much as a 49 per cent stake in the businesses, the outlet added.
A number of private equity groups, including Apollo Management, were named as interested parties.
In Q3, AT&T’s pay-TV businesses collectively lost 590,000 subscribers, an improvement from a loss of nearly 1.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
The news comes after various media reported attempts to shop DirecTV to potential buyers in recent months drew bids well below the $49 billion AT&T paid for the business in 2015.
Last year, AT&T CEO John Stankey denied rumours it planned to sell DirecTV, but on a recent earnings call declined to address renewed speculation about a potential transaction.
A deal would be in line with AT&T’s continued efforts to reduce debt by offloading non-core assets: recently completed sales of entertainment and network holdings in Europe and the Caribbean yielded a combined $3 billion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back