Corporate News: Hulu Has Had Talks With Possible Buyers

Hulu LLC, the online vide0 site, is in talks with several potential buyers including Guggenheim Partners, the financial services firm.  Hulu has yet to answer questions about its strategic direction, virtually forcing the company to explore different options.  Another option, besides selling to an outside buyer, would be for either News Corp. or Walt Disney Co., each of which owns one-third of Hulu, to buy the remaining equity in the company.  However, problem have developed because of the different paths each side wants Hulu to take.  While News Corp. believes Hulu should expand by increasing subscribers, Walt Disney Co. believes it should generate more revenue through advertisements.

The chance of selling to Guggenheim is particularly high, as the firm has shown growing interest in media including publications like the Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, and Billboard.  The firm has even hired former Yahoo chief executive Ross Levinsohn to head a media division.

The future of Hulu is uncertain, as this is the second time in two years that the company has been put on the market; the owners of Hulu looked for buyers in 2011.  Nonetheless, consumer interest in online video-streaming is expanding, making Hulu an especially attractive investment opportunity for any party involved.

Written by: Constantine Kostikas

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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