Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to deal half its film, TV, and music catalog to cut costs and lower its debt.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and attorney Allen Grubman are at the helm of negotiations to offload some of the company’s most storied projects. Sources tell Variety that includes “slightly less than half” of its stock, though as of this writing, it remains uncertain which works are at stake.
The sources hinted that music from movies such as Purple Rain, Evita, Sweeney Todd, Rent, several Batman films, and even “As Time Goes By” from the 1942 movie Casablanca could be part of the sale. In terms of the frontrunner to acquire this extensive inventory, Variety reports that it could be Sony, although neither Warner Bros. Discovery nor Sony would comment. Note what those titles have in common — they’re themes from shows and movies, not hits in the traditional sense.
Considering WBD’s financial strife, a sale of this caliber would help pay off some of its debt, which totals around $49.5 billion. In December, Zaslav emphasized one of his primary goals as CEO would be cutting costs and repaying said liabilities. Around that time, CNBC wrote that shares had sunk more than 50% since the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger last April. Six months ago, its market value stood at about $26 billion.
At a moment where WBD seems to find itself constantly defending apparent rash decision-making internally and the downfall of key figures in exec roles (ie: former CNN CEO Chris Licht), a monumental transaction would bode well and could signal the start of a turnaround.
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