AT&T Sets More Details For WarnerMedia Spinoff Ahead Of Discovery Merger

AT&T has firmed up more details of its spinoff of WarnerMedia, which is poised to combine with Discovery in a $43 billion merger.

In an SEC filing, the telecom giant said it will issue its shareholders a special dividend on April 5. For each share of AT&T common stock, holders will get 0.24 share in Warner Bros Discovery.

AT&T’s stock will begin two-way trading on April 4, with shareholders getting the option to buy or sell shares of AT&T with or without the WBD shares.

Shareholders will also get a quarterly dividend worth a shade less than 28 cents for each AT&T share, on top of the company’s annual dividend of $1.11 a share after the spinoff closes. Because of its unusually high number of individual investors, rather than institutions, owning its stock, AT&T’s dividend is a closely watched obligation on its balance sheet. The dividend is payable May 2 for shareholders of record as of April 14.

The quarterly dividend is in line with the company’s previous guidance.

Regulators and shareholders have signed off on the WarnerMedia-Discovery deal, leaving only final paperwork to be completed before the deal can take effect. An exact closing date was not specified in today’s filing, but it is expected to come in the next week or two. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is set to run the combined entity as CEO. The merger will punctuate the exit of AT&T from media and entertainment. The company previously had spun off DirecTV into a new entity 30% owned by private equity firm TPG. Acquiring Time Warner and DirecTV led to losses of tens of billions of dollars.

AT&T and Discovery proposed the merger last May, surprising Wall Street after several weeks of stealth negotiations.

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