Yahoo mulling deal for online video site Hulu

MARISSA Mayer’s Yahoo is believed to be close to a deal to acquire Hulu, the online video company, for up to $800m (£530m).

Although the company is believed to be just one of a number of bidders, the acquisition would fit in with a spate of deals Mayer has signed off on since joining Yahoo last summer as the chief executive attempts to appeal to the younger audience that has deserted the once-dominant firm.

These include the $1.1bn spent on blogging service Tumblr last week and the $30m deal to acquire Summly, the news aggregation app founded by British teenager Nick D’Aloisio.

Hulu is a joint venture between media giants Comcast, News Corp and Disney that offers online streaming of their movies, TV shows and additional material.

Around 3m people pay for its subscription service, although many more use an advertising-supported version.

Yahoo’s earlier attempt to expand its online video offering, a proposed acquisition of French video site Dailymotion, was scuppered by the French government last month.

Reports put the value of a bid for Hulu between $600m and $800m. Although this is far less than the $2bn the company was offered at two years ago, it would represent a significant outlay for Yahoo, which has burned up much of its cash.

The company’s latest earnings report – before the Tumblr acquisition was announced – revealed $1.17bn in cash holdings with another $3.9bn in other assets.

The firm is also not believed to be the only party in the running for Hulu. Yahoo did not comment on a potential bid.

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