Discovery shareholders to vote on Warner merger on March 11

David Zaslav

Discovery has scheduled a special shareholders meeting on March 11 to ratify its US$43 billion acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia.

The meeting will be held via webcast, but there is little doubt as to whether the measure will pass. Discovery’s biggest shareholders John Malone and Advance/Newhouse have already given the new company their seal of approval.

Discovery shareholders will vote on the new share structure, which will see them receive about one fourth of a share in the new company for each AT&T share in hand. This will result in AT&T shareholders owning 71% of the new company. The shareholders will also be asked to vote on ‘golden parachute’ compensation payments to be paid by Discovery to named executives in connection with the merger. 

The announcement comes after the deal was given the green light from US antitrust regulators. The European Commission and IRS had already approved the deal, with it now set to close by Q2 2022.

The new company, Warner Bros. Discovery, will be led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav, while its CFO Gunnar Wiedenfuls will retain that position.

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