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Hulu still flirting with suitors despite Yahoo! pull out

Premature exit as Yang considers own future

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Yahoo! is believed to have pulled out of negotiations to acquire Hulu, leaving Dish, Google and Amazon all still vying for the asset.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu's powerhouse owners are still mulling over the merits of selling.

Hulu is owned by News, Walt Disney, Comcast/NBCUniversal and private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. Following Yahoo’s drop-out, satellite-TV broadcaster Dish has emerged as the most likely bidder. According to WSJ speculation, Dish put in an initial bid of $US1.9 billion but has recently reworked its offer. Google has estimated Hulu’s value at around $US1.5 billion to $US2 billion.

Yahoo’s withdrawal from the process was prompted by its own ownership crisis as its bankers, Allen & Co and Goldman Sachs, pursue a strategic review.

As reported by The Register yesterday, Yahoo! co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang has indicated that he wants to take the ailing web company out of the stock market in a deal with private equity firms.

Meanwhile, Chinese outfit Alibaba has emerged as a mooted bidder for Yahoo! in partnership with Silver Lake and Russian Web firm Digital Sky.

Speculation has emerged that Yang wants to hold on to his 3.63% stake while going back to private investment. A new unlisted entity would have interesting implications for its JV's around the world. It would reshape the landscape of the Seven Network's tie-up in the Yahoo!7 tie-up. ®

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