Tech

AT&T seeks sale for Warner gaming unit, could fetch about $4 billion, sources say

Key Points
  • AT&T is considering selling its Warner Bros. gaming division for about $4 billion, sources say.
  • Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have all expressed interest in buying the unit, which owns titles including "Mortal Kombat" and "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite"
  • AT&T is looking at divesting assets to service its almost $200 billion in debt. 
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive / System: Nintendo DSThis charming handheld game is not only fun, but could help your vocabulary. You’ll summon objects to solve puzzles simply by writing what you want (the game has a library that recognizes nearly 23,000 words). It starts easy, but will ultimately test your mental prowess. Best of all, it never gets boring.
Photo Courtesy: Warner Bros.

AT&T is discussing a sale of its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment gaming division in a deal that could fetch about $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have all expressed interest in buying the gaming division, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. No deal is assured or imminent, two of the people said.

Many of the video game titles within Warner Bros. Interactive are tied to Warner-owned intellectual property, including "Harry Potter," "Game of Thrones" and "The Lego Movie." The unit also owns the "Mortal Kombat" and the "Scribblenauts" series. A deal might involve a commercial licensing agreement where AT&T can continue to get revenue from its IP, the people said. 

Spokespeople at AT&T and Take-Two declined to comment. Spokespeople at EA and Activision weren't immediately available for comment. 

Former WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey is set to replace Randall Stephenson as the new chief executive officer of AT&T on July 1. Stankey may look to divest assets after activist hedge fund Elliott Management took at $3.2 billion stake last year, calling for divestitures and leadership changes. Elliott called for AT&T to sell non-core assets including DirecTV, a transaction Stankey hasn't been in favor of pursuing. Stankey said AT&T is focusing on "a lot of work around portfolio rationalization" at Morgan Stanley's Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in March.

AT&T acquired Time Warner for $109 billion in a deal that closed in 2018, and has about $165 billion in debt. Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar took over as WarnerMedia's CEO on May 1. 

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