Discovery and telecommunication company AT&T announced that they have closed their transaction and combined the WarnerMedia business with Discovery, to compete with other streaming giants like Netflix and Disney.
The combination creates a premier standalone global media and entertainment company, Warner Bros. Discovery, which will begin trading on the Nasdaq with the start of trading on April 11 under the new ticker symbol "WBD".
"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," David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO, said in a statement.
The deal saw AT&T receive $43 billion in a combination of cash debt securities and debt retention.
Warner Bros. Discovery will create and distribute the world's most differentiated and complete portfolio of content, brands and franchises across television, film and streaming.
The new company combines WarnerMedia's premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery's leading non-fiction and international entertainment and sports businesses, including Discovery Channel, discovery+, Warner Bros. Entertainment, CNN, CNN+, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies and others.
"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," Zaslav said.
"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," he added.
Under terms of the agreement, which was structured as a Reverse Morris Trust transaction, at close AT&T received $40.4 billion in cash and WarnerMedia's retention of certain debt.
Additionally, shareholders of AT&T received 0.241917 shares of WBD for each share of AT&T common stock they held at the close.
As a result, AT&T shareholders received 1.7 billion shares of WBD, representing 71 per cent of WBD shares on a fully diluted basis.
Discovery's existing shareholders own the remainder of the new company. In addition to their new shares of WBD common stock, AT&T shareholders continue to hold the same number of shares of AT&T common stock they held immediately before close.20220409-132206