Ever since Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox, Disney has held a majority share in Hulu, with Comcast holding the remaining minority share. As part of an existing agreement between Comcast and The Walt Disney Co., either company could effectively force a deal through, starting from January 2024.
Comcast and Disney have now made a change to that agreement which makes it possible for either side to begin the process of a sale as early as September 30, 2023.
What still remains unclear, however, is whether the two companies can actually agree on a fee. While the original agreement set the base valuation of Hulu at $27.5 billion, this is just the minimum fee that will be paid. Since then, both companies have reportedly been at odds on exactly how much Hulu is worth.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia and Technology conference explained that the $27.5 billion minimum “was a hypothetical that we picked five years ago because Disney has control of the company.” Roberts added, “the company is way more valuable today than it was then.”
In a bid to figure out exactly how much Hulu is worth, both Disney and Comcast are expected to conduct their own appraisals, with third-party appraisals also due to take place. The idea being that it will then be possible for some form of a final evaluation to be agreed.
These evaluations, along with the process of the sale in general, is now expected to start much sooner, following the confirmation of both companies pushing the timeline forward.