AT&T's WARNERMEDIA AND DISCOVER, INC. FORM POTENTIAL NEW GLOBAL LEADER IN ENTERTAINMENT
AT&T Inc. and Discovery, Inc. announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedia's premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery's leading nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is structured as an all-stock, Reverse Morris Trust transaction, AT&T would receive $43 billion (subject to adjustment) in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia's retention of certain debt, and AT&T's shareholders would receive stock representing 71% of the new company; Discovery shareholders would own 29% of the new company. The Boards of Directors of both AT&T and Discovery have approved the transaction.
A Stronger Competitor in Global Streaming
The new company will compete globally in the fast-growing direct-to-consumer business -- bringing compelling content to DTC subscribers across its portfolio, including HBO Max and the recently launched discovery+.
The transaction will combine WarnerMedia's storied content library of popular and valuable IP with Discovery's global footprint, a trove of local-language content, and deep regional expertise across more than 200 countries and territories. The new company will be able to invest in more original content for its streaming services, enhance the programming options across its global linear pay-TV and broadcast channels, and offer more innovative video experiences and consumer choices.
Uniting Dynamic, Enduring and Historic Brands and Franchises
The "pure play" content company will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of iconic programming and will bring together over 100 of the most cherished, popular and trusted brands in the world under one global portfolio, including: HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet, ID and many more.
The new company will be able to increase investment and capabilities in original content and programming; create more opportunity for under-represented storytellers and independent creators; serve customers with innovative video experiences and points of engagement; and propel more investment in high-quality, family-friendly nonfiction content.
Leadership, Governance and Structure
The companies announced that Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the proposed new company with a best-in-class management team and top operational and creative leadership from both companies.
Discovery's current multiple classes of shares will be consolidated to a single class with one vote per share.
The new company's Board of Directors will consist of 13 members, 7 initially appointed by AT&T, including the chairperson of the board; Discovery will initially appoint 6 members, including CEO David Zaslav.