Private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake have reportedly made separate bids to purchase Hulu

Private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake have reportedly made separate bids to purchase Hulu

The question about just who will buy Hulu just got a bit more complex as two large private-equity firms may have made individual bids for the video site. Bloomberg reports that KKR & Co and Silver Lake Management LLC have joined the fray of companies interested in purchasing the popular service.

KKR & Co. and Silver Lake Management are probably best known in the tech industry for acquiring GoDaddy back in 2011 for $2.25 billion. The two firms join a growing list of companies participating in the Hulu auction. It’s believed that DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Guggenheim Digital, and the Chernin Group are all interested in bidding.

Walt Disney and News Corp. put the service up for auction back in 2011 but quickly ended the process, announcing:

Since Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners, we have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path to even greater success.  Our focus now rests solely on ensuring that our efforts as owners contribute in a meaningful way to the exciting future that lies ahead for Hulu.

It’s completely understandable that there’s confusion if you’re trying to keep up with the Hulu purchase saga. At one point, Google was thought to be in preliminary talks to buy the site. Microsoft and Amazon also were rumored to be interested. Earlier this month, Yahoo was reported by All Things D to have held talks with Hulu about a potential sale following its failed purchase of French video portal Dailymotion.

Hulu has been continuing to move on despite acquisition talks. Last year, the company announced that in 2012, it saw revenues increase by 65 percent to $695 million and now counts more than 3 million subscribers. Advertisers are also paying attention to the service as Hulu saw 28 percent more buyers in the last year. It’s library has also been growing, with more than 60,000 TV episodes, 2,300 series, and 50,000 hours of video.

All of this growth comes amid the departure of Hulu’s CEO Jason Kilar and CTO Rich Tom, who left the company earlier this year. It’s believed that Kilar’s departure, while rumored for months, was because of tensions with Hulu’s backers.

Photo credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

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