The Dallas-based telecommunications giant will receive $43 billion for its media assets, which includes Warner Bros. Entertainment and streaming service HBO Max, both based in Burbank. Under terms of the deal, AT&T shareholders would own 71 percent of the new company, while Discovery shareholders would own 29 percent.
The transaction unites complementary and diverse content strengths with broad appeal. WarnerMedia will bring its studios and portfolio of scripted entertainment, animation, news and sports, while Discovery has a library of unscripted and international entertainment and sports, the company said.
Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav will lead the proposed new company. The deal is expected to close in mid-2022.
Zaslav said in a statement that he was excited to combine such historic brands, world class journalism and iconic franchises under one roof and unlock so much value and opportunity.
“With a library of cherished IP, dynamite management teams and global expertise in every market in the world, we believe everyone wins ... consumers with more diverse choices, talent and storytellers with more resources and compelling pathways to larger audiences, and shareholders with a globally scaled growth company committed to a strong balance sheet that is better positioned to compete with the world’s largest streamers,” Zaslav said.
AT&T acquired Time Warner Inc. in 2018 and changed its name to WarnerMedia.