For years now everyone has operated under the idea that the Walt Disney Company would purchase the remaining shares of Hulu, but now that doesn’t appear to be a done deal.
Recently reinstated Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger may be having a change of heart when it comes to the future of Hulu. Following up on Disney’s latest quarterly earnings, Iger was making the interview rounds. When asked by CNBC about the 2024 deadline to buy out the remaining shares of Hulu or sell the company’s 67% stake, the answer was a bit surprising.
“Everything is on the table right now, so I am not going to speculate whether we are a buyer or a seller of it. But I obviously have suggested that I’m concerned about undifferentiated general entertainment, particularly in the competitive landscape that we are operating in, and we are going to look at it very objectively and expansively,” said Iger. When asked how he would respond to Comcast wanting to buy Disney out, the CEO responded “We will be open-minded.”
While third-party assessors would need to be brought in before a sale would be finalized, the total equity value of Comcast’s 33% is set at $27.5B. Considering the Walt Disney Company is currently looking to cut content spend, and is cutting 7,000 jobs, it seems that would be an extreme payout for the company at this time. One has to wonder if Comcast has the money to buyout Disney’s portion as well.
The future of Hulu may not be quite as settled as was once thought.