After weeks of rumor and speculation, AT&T has officially announced that it will acquire DirecTV in a stock-and-cash transaction for $95 per share based on AT&T’s Friday closing price, putting it at $48.5 billion.
The deal will still face regulator approval, but it has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both companies. It will be reviewed by the FCC, Department of Justice, and some states and Latin American countries. It’s also subject to DirecTV shareholder approval.
The companies will offer consumers packages that include video, high-speed broadband and mobile service via AT&T’s 2,300 retail stores and through authorized dealers and agents of both companies.
“This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens – mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes. At the same time, it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders,” said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. DIRECTV is the best option for us because they have the premier brand in pay TV, the best content relationships, and a fast-growing Latin American business. DirecTV is a great fit with AT&T and together we’ll be able to enhance innovation and provide customers new competitive choices for what they want in mobile, video and broadband services. We look forward to welcoming DirecTV’s talented people to the AT&T family.”
DirecTV president and CEO Mike White added, “This compelling and complementary combination will bring significant benefits to all consumers, shareholders and DIRECTV employees. U.S. consumers will have access to a more competitive bundle; shareholders will benefit from the enhanced value of the combined company; and employees will have the advantage of being part of a stronger, more competitive company, well positioned to meet the evolving video and broadband needs of the 21st century marketplace.”
AT&T says it will use the merger to expand plans to build and enhance high-speed broadband service to 15 million locations, mostly in rural areas where it doesn’t already offer it. This is expected to be completed within four years after close.
The combined company will offer a stand-alone broadband service with speeds of at least 6 Mbps (where feasible) for those who don’t want a whole DirecTV package. Likewise, DirecTV will continue to be available on a stand-alone basis for at least three years after closing.
The companies expect the deal to close within a year. DirecTV will remain based in El Segundo, California. More details here.
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