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AT&T anticipates pending WarnerMedia-Discovery deal to close by mid-2022

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AT&T logo is seen on a smartphone in front of displayed Discovery and Warner Media logos in this illustration
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(Reuters) - Telecoms company AT&T said it anticipates that the pending deal to combine WarnerMedia's media assets with Discovery Inc will close by the middle of 2022.

AT&T is in the process of unwinding its expensive media investments to focus on its original business of providing phone and internet services.

It is combining WarnerMedia's media assets with Discovery to create a proposed stand-alone company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

"After close of that transaction and on a pro-forma basis, AT&T expects annual revenues to grow at a low single digits compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2024 with annual adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share growing at a CAGR in the mid-single digit range", AT&T Chief Financial Officer Pascal Desroches said in an update to shareholders on Tuesday.

After the deal closing, the company said it anticipates annual dividends paid of $8 billion to $9 billion, reflecting a payout ratio of 40% to 43% on projected free cash flow of $20 billion plus in 2023.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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