Hulu Parents Hire Guggenheim to Advise on Sale

Investment bank mulling its own bid for Internet TV site, according to Reuters


Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. have hired investment bank Guggenheim Partners to help them shop Hulu — even as Guggenheim is mulling its own bid for the popular Internet TV website, Reuters reported.

Reps for respective companies declined to comment. In 2011, Hulu’s owners tried unsuccessfully to sell the venture after attaching a reported $2 billion asking price to the property.

In January, Guggenheim created a separate digital-media unit headed by former Yahoo topper Ross Levinsohn, who reportedly has been contemplating a deal for Hulu. Guggenheim has established “Chinese wall” to isolate investment bank from media assets, but the arrangement definitely presents conflict-of-interest issues, an M&A expert told Reuters, which carried the report late Wednesday.

Hulu’s third owner is Comcast’s NBCUniversal, which is precluded from making management decisions about the site.

Former News Corp. prexy Peter Chernin recently offered about $500 million for Hulu, including the assumption of $330 million in debt, according to Reuters, citing anonymous sources.