Hulu's owners, including the News Corporation, the Walt Disney Company and Providence Equity Partners, have decided not to sell the online video hub, the consortium announced late Thursday.
In a short statement, the owner group said that each of its members found value in holding on to the Web video company instead of selling it to any of a number of potential bidders.
"Since Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners, we have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path to even greater success," the consortium said.
Speculation that Hulu's owners would decide against a sale had been building up for months. Helping drive that were cryptic comments by the News Corporation's chief operating officer, Chase Carey, during that company's earnings call in August. "Does it make sense to pursue that path or does it make sense for us to stay in an ownership position and continue to have it driven by content owners?" he asked.
As bids came in last month from Amazon, Dish Network, Google and others, Hulu's owners expressed less interest in the valuations of the offers, people briefed on the bids said previously. Most of the bids did not exceed $2 billion, the valuation Hulu was aiming for in a potential initial public offering last year, these people said.
Since then, however, Hulu has begun programs like a $7.99-a-month subscription service that its owners argued significantly bolstered the company's value. As of Oct. 5, Hulu counted more than one million subscribers to its Hulu Plus service, according to a blog post by its chief executive, Jason Kilar.
Many of the potential bids also hinged on striking longer-term deals with the content providers.
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