Economy

Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox

Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox

Comcast today made a $65 billion offer to buy major portions of 21st Century Fox, setting up a potential bidding war with Walt Disney Company. Comcast's bid is all-cash, compared with Disney's all-stock offer.

Disney won out previous year when 21st Century Fox was officially fielding offers for the majority of their assets, which includes their movie studio 20th Century Fox, their stake in Hulu, a host of regional sports Networks, FX, National Geographic and, their stake in global broadcaster Sky and, most importantly in the eyes of many movie lovers, the rights to the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool franchises.

Roberts said Murdoch had built "one of the world's great media and entertainment companies", and that its history was similar to that of Comcast's.

The Disney/Fox deal hit the skids over legal issues, but now that a federal judge has determined that AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner is legal, it opens it right back up again. It also offered to pay Fox's $1.525 billion breakup fee owed Disney, if Fox went with Comcast. Disney also is interested in owning Sky.

Comcast said it meant to pursue its $30 billion acquisition of Sky Plc in parallel with its Fox bid. Regulators there also have cleared Comcast's $30.7 billion offer for the 61 percent of Sky that Murdoch doesn't own.

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Comcast said its proposal is "at least as favourable" to shareholders as Disney's plan.

Fox in a statement said it had received the proposal and would review it. The nation's largest cable TV firm has been waiting for a ruling on the AT&T-Time Warner merger before announcing a formal bid for Fox. Fox's film and studio content was expected to serve as key components of Disney's upcoming branded streaming service, which is set for release in 2019. Disney has made its own $52.4 billion bid for the bulk of the company.

The AT&T and Time Warner logos are seen on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. June 13, 2018. As such, Comcast has improved an offer it discussed with Fox a year ago by saying it's offering $2.5 billion in case the deal doesn't go through and would reimburse Fox for another $1.5 billion it will owe Disney for breaking their arrangement.

Comcast said it is confident it will win regulatory approval and that its new offer "fully addresses" the stated concerns. According to Variety, Comcast has offered to reimburse Fox for that penalty if they accept their offer.

That case was dismissed on Tuesday, giving new impetus to Comcast's proposal and perhaps many more deals like it in the not-too-distant future.


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