Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement:
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.
AT&T’s decision to sell Warnermedia came just three years after it first acquired Time Warner. However, following the 2018 takeover, AT&T – a telecommunications company at its core – struggled to absorb Warner’s media businesses. The company accumulated a great amount of debt as its stock continually underperformed, forcing the sale of several entertainment assets including Crunchyroll.
The new deal should allow AT&T to go back to doing what it theoretically does best. Company CEO John Stankey explained:
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.