Hulu Will Not Be SoldFriday, July 12, 2013
After months of discussions with bidders interested in acquiring video streaming service Hulu, owners NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co., have taken the site off the market. Instead, they announced Friday morning they will invest another $750 million the company.
"We believe the best path forward for Hulu is a meaningful recapitalization that will further accelerate its growth under the current ownership structure," Chase Carey, president and chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox, said in a statement. "We had meaningful conversations with a number of potential partners and buyers, each with impressive plans and offers to match, but with 21st Century Fox and Disney fully aligned in our collective vision and goals for the business, we decided to continue to empower the Hulu team, in this fashion, to continue the incredible momentum they've built over the last few years."
Reports said the remaining bidders were DirecTV and a partnership of AT&T and Chernin Group. Also on the table was an offer from Time Warner Cable to buy a minority stake in Hulu and become the company's fourth owner.
Hulu's owners had already ruled out a bid from Guggenheim Partners, according to a report from CNBC earlier in the week.
Hulu was founded in 2008 as an ad-supported video streaming service. It launched a premium version, Hulu Plus, in 2010. The company said that service has surpassed 4 million subscribers, contributing to the company’s $690 million in revenue last year.
Like many of its video streaming competitors, Hulu has also been making a push for original content.
This is the second time that Hulu's owners have put it up for sale, only to cancel the transaction later. It was pulled off the market in 2011 after it didn't receive attractive bids.
According to a report on AllThingsD, some of the bidders from the recent sale attempt could contribute to Hulu's recapitalization through distribution deals.