Disney CEO Bob Chapek says he’d like to purchase all of Hulu “tomorrow,” but that the chances of a transaction happening soon are slim


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Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated that he would like to purchase Comcast’s 33% interest in Hulu tomorrow.

He admitted that the possibilities of a quick settlement are dwindling.

Comcast and Disney have an existing mutual agreement for Comcast to sell its minority holding in Hulu as early as January 2024.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he’d love to purchase Comcast’s 33% interest in Hulu “tomorrow,” but added the prospects of an early transaction are “dwindling” as 2024 approaches.

“I would prefer nothing more than to come up with that option for an early deal,” Chapek told CNBC’s David Faber in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “However, it requires two sides to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Comcast and Disney have an existing mutual agreement for Comcast to sell its minority holding in Hulu as early as January 2024. Activist investor Dan Loeb is pressuring Disney to finalise an agreement that will fully combine Hulu and Disney+, resulting in a “hard package” that will allow consumers to see content from both services within a single application.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said on Wednesday that if Disney decides to sell Hulu, he would like to acquire it as well.

Hulu is a fantastic company… It has fantastic content, and I believe Comcast would be interested if it were for sale, put up for sale,” Roberts remarked at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference on Wednesday.

Comcast, according to Roberts, is open to negotiating a sale of its stake before the 2024 deadline, but it is up to Disney to initiate the dialogue. “I believe it has significant value, and I’m sure our shareholders do as well,” Roberts added.

“There has never been a pure play, fantastic streaming service introduced to the market.” So I’m not sure the public markets are the best way to assess value.”

However, as CNBC reported earlier this month, Comcast executives believe Disney will proceed with its bid to acquire Hulu.

The topic will then shift to pricing. According to Roberts, the simplest method to assess Hulu is to figure out what it would sell for in a hypothetical auction.

Chapek told Faber that this year’s drop in Netflix’s public valuation should figure into the eventual sale price. The firms agreed on a $27.5 billion floor price for Hulu in the 2019 agreement that guaranteed the sale of the 33% ownership by 2024.

Is there a floor price as well?” Chapek stated. “Which, you know, wasn’t even relevant 18 months ago, when the streaming business was still frothy, but now that things have settled down a lot, that floor value appears a lot more [important].”


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