DirecTV working with advisers to weigh AT&T deal: sources

NEW YORK Wed May 7, 2014 6:24pm EDT

A DirecTV dish is seen outside a home in the Queens borough of New York July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A DirecTV dish is seen outside a home in the Queens borough of New York July 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - DirecTV(DTV.O) is working with advisers including Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) to evaluate a possible combination with AT&T Inc (T.N), following a recent takeover approach from the mobile services provider, according to people familiar with the matter.

DirecTV has enlisted advisers as the satellite TV company and its board consider whether to engage in serious discussions with the telecoms giant, one of the people said on Wednesday. The exact status of the talks could not be learned.

While DirecTV took AT&T's overture serious enough to discuss it at board meetings, it also thinks that AT&T could be more interested in buying another pay TV operator Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) than itself, the person added.

Unlike DirecTV, which does not own wireless spectrum, Dish has amassed billions in wireless airwaves over the past few years under billionaire chairman Charlie Ergen.

All the people asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak with the media.

Representatives for DirecTV and AT&T declined to comment, while Goldman Sachs was not immediately available for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier DirecTV was working with Goldman Sachs on a potential deal.

A combination of AT&T and DirecTV would create a pay television giant close in size to where Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) will be if it completes its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC.N).

AT&T has a market value of around $185 billion, compared to DirecTV's $45 billion.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York and Ron Grover in Los Angeles, additional reporting by Liana Baker; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Andrew Hay)

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