AT&T is reportedly talking about plans once again to sell DirecTV. With subscriber numbers dropping for the satellite service, AT&T is looking at offloading DirecTV to private-equity investors.
“AT&T Inc. is seeking private equity investors to buy the majority of its DirecTV satellite-television business, helping it cope with a major drag on its operations,” a report from Bloomberg says.
AT&T bought DirecTV for $49 billion five years ago. Potential buyers include Apollo Global Management and Platinum Equity, The Wall Street Journal reported, but the company may not be able to recoup its investment.
“Any deal for the satellite TV service would be sizable but likely a far cry from the $49 billion AT&T paid for it in 2015,” WSJ reported, noting that the current value of the service would be below $20 billion.
The company has discussed the idea of selling or merging the service in the past. Earlier this year, DISH’s CEO Charlie Ergen said that the merger of DISH and DIRECTV felt “inevitable.”
“It’s inevitable that those two should go together because the growth in TV is not coming from linear satellite TV providers,” Ergen said during DISH’s earnings call in February.
However, a report from CNBC’s David Faber says DISH is not part of the plan. Faber says his sources tell him there is “no way” that AT&T will negotiate with Dish.
AT&T has not yet commented on a potential deal.
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