Hulu completes buyout of Providence

Private equity firm was one of streaming service's founding stakeholders

The joint owners of Hulu have completed their expected buyout of Providence Equity Partners, confirmed reps for the company.

The private equity firm, which was one of the streaming service’s founding stakeholders along with NBCUniversal and News Corp., sold its 10% stake back to those congloms as well as Hulu’s third owner, Walt Disney Co., which came aboard in 2009.

The value of the shares is estimated at approximately $200 million, doubling the investment Providence first made in 2007. The firm first signaled its intent to exit back in April, but the complexity of the deal meant that was going to take time.

The departure of Providence also means a windfall for a number of top current Hulu executives with significant amount of shares including CEO Jason Kilar. As first reported in Variety last month, Hulu’s owners believe Kilar could leave the company given he stands to make as much as $100 million from the buyback but the venture’s reps have denied he has any such plans.

Kilar and Hulu’s stakeholders have had a sometimes tense relationship given conflicting visions over the strategic direction of the service, but top execs at Disney and News Corp. publicly voiced their hope that he will remain. NBCUniversal has a non-controlling interest in Hulu as a condition of its acquisition by Comcast.

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