After weeks of speculation, Comcast bids against Disney for Fox. With the hopes of stopping Disney’s pending, stock-based $52.4 billion deal with Fox, Comcast has made a higher, all-cash offer of approximately $65 billion.
It is that that this will most likely start what could be an intense battle between Comcast and Disney for the acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Fox, who’s board of directors is set to vote on the Disney deal on July 10th, will have to weigh with of the two offers is better for them.
“Time is of the essence for your consideration of our proposal,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts wrote in a letter to Fox’s board. A statement has been filed with the SEC by Comcast in opposition of the Disney and 21st Century Fox deal. On Wednesday evening, Fox said “21st Century Fox’s board, in consultation with its outside legal counsel and financial advisors, will carefully review and consider the Comcast proposal.” No announcement has been made as to a postponement of the July 10th vote.
The assumption was that Comcast was waiting to see if AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner would be approved before making a formal offer to Fox. On June 12th the ruling came down in AT&T’s favor and probably played into Comcast’s decision to make the offer to Fox.
Comcast says it is “highly confident that our proposed transaction will obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner and that our transaction is as or more likely to receive regulatory approval than the Disney transaction.” They have said that they are “open to working with antitrust authorities” to make changes to the deal to gain approval.
The offer by Comcast is for the movie studio 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox-owned cable networks (including FX and National Geographic), several regional sports TV networks, and the company’s stakes in international networks Sky and Star TV. A 30 percent stake in the Hulu steaming service is also included.
Fox Broadcasting, Fox News, and Fox Sports are not part of the agreement. The Disney and Fox merger calls for them to be spun off into a company called New Fox. This is also part of the Comcast deal. In the hopes of gaining favor over Disney, not only is Comcast offering the same $2.5 billion reverse breakup fee as Disney in the event that the deal is scuttled by regulators, it is going even further and offering to fund the $1.525 billion that Fox would owe Disney if it decides to abandon their deal.
Comcast and Fox were in discussion near the end of 2017 and decided to pull out of the merger discussions right before the Disney and Fox deal was made.
Source: The Verge
Photo Credit: 21st Century Fox
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