Discovery Shareholders Approve Remaining Steps Before Acquisition of WarnerMedia
Deal expected to close early in second quarter
Discovery said its shareholders have approved a set of proposals that clear the way for its acquisition of WarnerMedia, which is being spun off from AT&T.
The deal, which would create Warner Bros. Discovery, is expected to close early in the second quarter.
At its special meeting of shareholders, a majority of shareholders voted to approve amendments in Discovery’s charter, a share issuance proposal and a nonbinding compensation proposal, Discovery said.
At the same time, AT&T announced an updated strategy and financial outlook once it gets out from under its expensive dalliance with the media business. In addition to spinning off WarnerMedia, AT&T spun off DirecTV last year.
“The transformation we’ve undergone over the past 18 months while delivering outstanding operational results has brought us to this point. We will be a simpler, more focused company with the intent to become America’s best broadband provider,” AT&T chairman and CEO John Stankey said. “We plan to ramp up investment in our key areas of growth — 5G and fiber. And at the same time, we will retain our focus on growing customer relationships, continuously improve our execution to enhance the customer experience and deliver growth and returns for our shareholders.”
AT&T said it plans to double its fiber footprint to more than 30 million locations.
The company expects that by 2025, 75% of its network footprint will be served via fiber and 5G and that it will have reduced its copper services footprint by 50%. The simultaneous ongoing shutdown of AT&T’s copper services footprint with expansion of its fiber footprint will help drive cost savings while creating new revenue opportunities. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.