Winds of change are blowing in the Disney world. The company which announced that it would be laying off around 7000 employees on Wednesday, 8th February now looks to be making another significant decision regarding its streaming platform, Hulu.
If the words of Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger are to be believed, Disney is keen on selling off its stake in Hulu. As it currently stands, Disney’s got a 66% stake in Hulu with Comcast owning the remaining 34%. In a deal that the two organisations entered into, in 2019, Comcast could have Disney buyout its share in the company or, if it wanted to, Disney could opt to buyout Comcast’s share in Hulu.
The cut-off date for such a transaction, if it came to pass, was placed at January, 2024. The terms of the equity were also set in the 2019 deal. Disney would have to pay a sum of $9.2 billion to acquire Comcast’s share in Hulu.
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However, in a recent interview he had with CNBC, Iger’s words denoted that the company’s stance on the subject had long changed. About Hulu getting offloaded from Disney, Iger said, “We are intent on reducing our debt.
I’ve talked about general entertainment being undifferentiated. I’m not going to speculate if we’re a buyer or a seller of it. But I’m concerned about undifferentiated general entertainment. We’re going to look at it very objectively”.
Disney’s currently battling increasing costs and its recent decision was also spurred on because of this. A total of 220,000 people are said to be employed in Disney and going by the number of people who would be asked to leave, around 3% of the total employees would be axed by them.
In addition to job-cuts, the company also plans to cut down its costs by around $5.5 billion. These decisions were announced by Bob Iger, who re-joined Disney as its chief executive in November, 2022.