AT&T to Purchase DirecTV For $48.5 Billion

May 19, 2014 10:42 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro


DirecTV has confirmed it will sell itself to AT&T for $48.5 billion, according to a report by Reuters.

The deal is the latest in a number of big takeovers the Dallas-based company has considered the last couple of years.

Other deals include a bid for T-Mobile USA back in 2011, and a potential takeover of Vodafone Plc that receded as a possibility after Comcast stunned the industry with a $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable, according to Reuters.

AT&T said it is offering $95 per DirecTV share in a combination of cash and stock, a 10 percent premium over May 16's closing price of $86.18.

The total transaction, which includes DirectTV's net debt, is worth $67.1 billion, according to Reuters.

The company expects the takeover to deliver an annual cost savings of about $1.6 billion three years after the deal is finalized.

"This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens - mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes," AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said in a statement, according to Reuters. "At the same time, it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders."

AT&T will sell approximately 8 percent of its stake in Carlos Slim's America Movil as part of the deal.

DirecTV has almost 18 million customers in Latin America, according to Reuters.

A number of analysts are curious why AT&T, which is currently facing slowing growth, would purchase DirecTV during a time when U.S. satellite subscriptions have dropped greatly.

Satellite subscriptions have dropped lately due to the popularity of web-based television services.

The acquisition could mean AT&T has some good ideas to help DirecTV handle the rise of web-based television services.

The company hasn't commented about its major plans for the company yet.

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