Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) is engaged in preliminary talks to acquire Hulu, the online video company, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations.
The sources said that Hulu has met with several potential buyers, including Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), as well as Google. These meetings were set up by Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners, acting as Hulu’s financial advisors.
Hulu has reportedly already received a buyout offer from Yahoo.
The LA Times report indicated that Hulu expects to generate revenues of $500 million this year from ads and from money from its Hulu Plus subscription service.
A key part of Hulu’s appeal is its licensing agreements for popular television shows such as “Glee,” and Modern Family.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), which are two of the media giants behind Hulu, recently renewed licensing pacts in order increase Hulu’s attractiveness as a buyout candidate.
The three-year old online site has 28-million viewers a month, according to comScore.
Tony Wible, an analyst at Janney Capital Markets, told reporters that he thinks Hulu’s owners will want the same value for Hulu as Netflix (about $2-billion).