The home of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter may soon have a new owner.
AT&T is reportedly in talks to acquire Time Warner, parent company of HBO and Warner Bros. Entertainment, in a move that would create another massive media, communications, and internet conglomerate in the US.
The deal would bring Time Warner’s popular media and entertainment brands, which also include Turner networks CNN and Cartoon Network, under the same roof as AT&T’s pay-TV, wireless, and internet offerings, which were bolstered last year by the acquisition of satellite-TV operator DirecTV.
On Oct. 20, Bloomberg reported that AT&T and Time Warner had been holding informal talks focused on relationship-building over negotiating a specific deal. But today the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported (paywall) that the pair were in “advanced talks” for an acquisition that could be officially announced as soon as this weekend. The story was short on details, but said that the likely cash-and-stock deal came together quickly and could fall apart just as easily, or be delayed.
Update (6pm ET): AT&T’s offer reportedly values Time Warner at $110 per share, or $86 billion, based on the company’s current outstanding common shares, Bloomberg later reported, also citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter. That’s a roughly 23% premium on Time Warner’s current market value of about $70 billion, based on the company’s closing stock price of $89.48 on Friday. According to the Journal, the acquisition would be structured as a 50-50 cash-and-stock deal.
Last year, AT&T acquired DirecTV for $49 billion, making it the largest pay-TV operator in the US.