Disney To Buy Comcast's Hulu Stake For $8.6B

In a somewhat expected move, Walt Disney said it will acquire the 33% stake of streaming platform Hulu, owned by Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, for $8.61 billion.

This is based on the $27.5 billion guaranteed “floor value” for Hulu set when the companies entered into their agreement in 2019.

According to an arrangement between two companies, Comcast could force Disney to buy the stake. Comcast exercised that right on Wednesday, Disney said.

If the appraised value is higher than $27.5 billion -- as of September 30, 2023 -- Disney will pay Comcast the difference between the floor value of the stake and its fair-market value.

Disney says the appraisal process will be completed during the 2024 calendar year.



Hulu began operations in 2008 through a joint-equity partnership between News Corp (20th Century Fox), NBCUniversal, and Providence Equity Group in order to compete with the growing streaming service Netflix. In 2009, Walt Disney bought into Hulu as an equity partner.  

Providence Equity in 2012 sold its 10% stake back to the existing partners. In August 2016, Time Warner bought a 10% stake of Hulu.

Three years later, in April 2019, WarnerMedia sold back its equity to the partners for $1.43 billion.

In March 2019, Disney acquired about half of the 21st Century Fox business for $71.4 billion in stock -- which included Fox’s stake in Hulu. 

That same year, in May, Comcast Corp. relinquished operating control of the company. This left Disney with a 67% stake and Comcast with a 33% stake in Hulu.

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