Qatar Holding, a global investment management firm established to provide steady long-term returns on assets to benefit and diversify the economy of the State of Qatar is interested in joining the bidding process to acquire Hulu, an online video streaming service, according to a report from Muhammad Waqas of Arabian Gazette.
Hulu is owned by News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). The owners of Hulu failed to boost the profitability of the online video streaming service and they are currently facing $350 million in debt.
Qatar Holding Bidding Against Seven Other Companies
Qatar Holding will be bidding against seven other companies interested in acquiring Hulu including Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC), KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), Guggenheim Digital, The Chernin Group, and William Morris Endeavor together with private equity firm Silver Lake Capital. The actual selling price of Hulu is still unknown. Last month, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) met with one of the executives of Hulu.
Many believe that some of the interested parties could bid as high as $1 billion for Hulu. Given the number of bidders, the bidding process for the online video streaming service might become one of the hardest-fought transactions in the entertainment industry in the United States this year.
The owners of Hulu established the business to help major broadcasters in the United States tap opportunities particularly from growing online advertising. However, the owners decided to sell Hulu because of their differences in managing the business to make it profitable. The winner in the process will be announced next month.
In terms of market share, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) remains the top choice for subscription video on demand with 89 percent. Hulu Plus has only a10 percent market share.
Qatar Holding Announces Other Plans
Last month, Qatar Holding together with Hines Italia SGR S.p.A acquired a 40 percent stake in Porta Nuova Project in Italy as a strategy to diversify its global portfolio. Porta Nuova has a market value of more than €2 billion, and is considered one of the most prestigious city center mixed-use developments in Europe.
In April, Qatar Holding announced its plan to offer shares of its new $12 billion investment vehicle-Doha Global Investment Co, which is the largest initial public offering (IPO) in the Middle East. It is half-owned by the sovereign wealth fund.