Discovery and AT&T have closed their transaction to combine the WarnerMedia business with Discovery.
As a result, the new global media and entertainment platform Warner Bros. Discovery will begin trading on the Nasdaq this Monday, April 11 under the new ticker symbol WBD.
The new company combines WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading non-fiction and international entertainment and sports businesses, including Discovery Channel, discovery+, Warner Bros. Entertainment, CNN, CNN+, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV , Food Network, Investigation Discovery, TLC, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others.
Commenting on the development, David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO, said: “Today’s announcement marks an exciting milestone not just for Warner Bros. Discovery but for our shareholders, our distributors, our advertisers, our creative partners and, most importantly, consumers globally.
“With our collective assets and diversified business model, Warner Bros. Discovery offers the most differentiated and complete portfolio of content across film, television and streaming. We are confident that we can bring more choice to consumers around the globe while fostering creativity and creating value for shareholders. I can’t wait for both teams to come together to make Warner Bros. Discovery the best place for impactful storytelling.”
John Stankey, AT&T CEO, added: “We are at the dawn of a new age of connectivity, and today marks the beginning of a new era for AT&T.
“With the close of this transaction, we expect to invest at record levels in our growth areas of 5G and fiber, where we have strong momentum, while we work to become America’s best broadband company. At the same time, we’ll sharpen our focus on returns to shareholders. We expect to invest for growth, strengthen our balance sheet and reduce our debt, all while continuing to pay an attractive dividend that puts us among the top dividend paying stocks in America.
“In WarnerMedia, Discovery inherits a talented and innovative team and a dynamic growing and global company that is well positioned to lead the transformation that’s taking place across media and entertainment, direct-to-consumer distribution and technology. The combination of the two companies will strengthen WarnerMedia’s established and leading position in media and streaming. And our shareholders will now have a significant stake in Warner Bros. Discovery and its future successes. We look forward to seeing what the WBD team accomplishes with these industry-leading assets.”
As previously reported by Broadband TV Newsin May 2021 AT&T and Discovery have entered into a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses.
Under the terms of the agreement, structured as an all-stock, Reverse Morris Trust transaction, AT&T would receive $43 billion (subject to adjustment) in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt, and AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71% of the new company. Meanwhile, Discovery shareholders would own 29% of the new company.