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AT&T Receiving DirecTV Bids Exceeding $15 Billion

DirecTV
(Image credit: DirecTV)

AT&T has entered the later stages of its bidding process for DirecTV, with several bids exceeding $15 billion, including debt, according to the Wall Street Journal

Also read: AT&T Tries to Package U-verse TV, AT&T TV Now in DirecTV Sale

Should AT&T reach a deal with one of the prospective suitors soon, a sale could be completed by early 2021, the news org added, based on conversations with unnamed sources said to be close to the negotiations. 

Apollo Management, which was billed as an early leader in the bidding, reportedly came in with a bid below $15 billion. However, Churchill Capital Corp. was said to be among several bidders exceeding the $15 billion-plus-debt mark. 

AT&T paid nearly $50 billion for DirecTV when it purchased the satellite TV business in 2015, but it’s seen much of the company’s subscriber base defect to OTT video options.

Speaking at a UBS Group investor event Tuesday, AT&T CEO John Stankey didn’t mention DirecTV by name, saying, “We still have opportunities to do some things around rejiggering our portfolio. We’ll continue to force ourselves to look at those hard decisions.”

AT&T is looking to pay down debut following not just its disastrous DirecTV purchase, but also the expensive acquisition of Time Warner Inc. in 2018.

There is speculation, led by Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen, that whatever private equity interest purchases DirecTV, it will turn around and merge the asset with rival Dish at some point in the future.