AT&T is closing in on a deal to sell a substantial minority stake in its DirecTV, AT&T TV Now and U-Verse business to private equity firm TPG, according to people familiar with the matter.
A deal could be announced as early as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
The deal will value AT & T’s businesses at about $ 15 billion. AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015 for $ 48.5 billion ($ 67 billion with debt).
AT&T has moved away from traditional pay TV in recent years, focusing its media strategy on HBO Max. DirecTV, U-Verse, and AT&T TV Now are built on a cable and broadcast network linear television business that loses millions of subscribers every year.
AT&T lost nearly 3 million video customers last year and took a $ 15.5 billion impairment charge due to the company’s reassessment of its national video business.
A sale will provide AT&T with additional cash to pay off its debt, which stands at about $ 150 billion and has been steadily declining over the past year.
Hedge fund Elliott Management acquired an activist stake in AT&T in September 2019. In a letter to management, Elliott asked AT&T to focus its strategic operations while considering divesting non-core assets, including DirecTV. AT&T CEO John Stankey has resisted a sell-off.
TPG declined to comment. AT&T could not immediately be reached for comment.