Hulu’s value has long been a matter of speculation by analysts and industry watchers—now we have a number. Bankers that were tallying up Fox’s assets as part of the sale to Disney calculated its 30% Hulu holding at $2.27 billion, according to a recent regulatory filing. If you multiply that out and add in a $1.17 billion “Hulu control premium” you get to $8.7 billion. This number is far lower than other estimates from analysts that had put the company’s worth at $25 billion. There may be accounting reasons why Hulu’s fair market value was placed here, but it puts a surprisingly modest price-tag on a property that some people think was the most important asset at stake here.
Another fascinating section of the filing is the background of the transaction. Although much of it was previously reported, it gives us a full sense of how industry players jockeyed for position in trying to score the assets. It details the origins of the deal (a regular meeting between Rupert Murdoch and Robert Iger where they discuss industry challenges) as well as the other suitors who made a bid for Fox. Party A (revealed by other outlets to be Verizon) made an offer but wasn’t presenting a meaningful premium on the shares. Party B (Comcast) came into the fray after CNBC broke news of the deal, and it was willing to offer a significant premium to Disney’s offer. Ultimately Fox chose not to go forward with Comcast because of regulatory concerns, leading us to where we are today.