Hulu is putting itself up for sale after all, The Times has learned.
Yahoo recently approached Hulu about the prospect of a purchase deal, but as Times reporters Dawn C. Chmielewski and Ben Fritz noted earlier, there was some question as to whether the Internet TV- and movie-streaming service wanted to be bought.
Now there's an answer, as Chmielewski, Fritz and their colleague Meg James reported on our sister blog Company Town, Hulu is putting itself up for sale and has gone as far as to retain investment banks to get a deal done.
From Company Town:
The popular online television site, which has been the cause of much consternation in Hollywood, has retained investment banks Guggenheim Partners and Morgan Stanley to facilitate a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter. Prospective bidders have received notice that the sales process would begin in about two weeks.
The news comes a day after it was revealed that Hulu had received an unsolicited acquisition offer and that Web portal Yahoo has expressed interest in potentially acquiring it. Yahoo has not yet made a formal bid, said a person with knowledge of the situation.
By signing up the investment banks, however, Hulu is making clear that it is not just on the receiving end of interest. Rather, its owners -- News Corp., Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp. and Providence Equity -- are seeking to exit the company three years after it launched.
One matter still unclear would be just how much Hulu would be willing to be sold for. The company, which is on the path to running as an independent entity despite being a joint venture between the major media firms named above, is an attempt by TV makers to tap into the value of their content on the Web -- and a bit of a Netflix challenger.
For more on this development in Hulu's business, and what's known of interested bidders so far, read the full Company Town report.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screenshot of Hulu's iPad app. Credit: Hulu /Apple