Sure to change the shape of Hulu, Providence Equity Partners has finally sold its 10% stake in the joint video venture.
Originally purchased in 2007 for $100 million, Providence Equity has reportedly sold its share back to co-owners News Corp., Comcast, and Disney for $200 million. (If the reported sale price is correct, that would value Hulu at $2 billion.)
With the official exit of Providence Equity, there is wide speculation over the future of Hulu, its existing licensing agreements, and its ability to maintain exclusivity over premium content.
Recent content deals with World Wrestling Entertainment -- and the expansion of its partnership with Viacom to include Nickelodeon content -- suggest the company is moving in the right direction.
With the divestment, however, top Hulu executives whose shares have already vested should now have the option to cash out of the company. Sources told Variety over the summer that CEO Jason Kilar could cash out at close to $100 million, at which point, he would likely leave the company.
Earlier this year, Hulu Plus said it had more than 2 million paying subscribers, each of whom pays $7.99 a month for the service.
Trailing Google Sites, BrightRoll and Adapt.tv, Hulu was responsible for serving 1.1 billion viewers in August, according to comScore. Hulu, however, delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 51, while Google Sites delivered an average of 19 ads per viewer.
Last year, Hulu said it made $420 million. A number of suitors -- including Yahoo, Amazon, Dish, and Google -- were also mulling bids for Hulu for as much $2 billion.