Comcast prepares all-cash bid to gate-crash Disney-Fox deal

09 May, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza formerly known as the GE building in midtown Manhattan in New York

Disney agreed to buy Fox's assets, including the existing 39 per cent stake it has in Sky, last December after Mr Murdoch turned down a higher bid from Comcast on the grounds that it had a lower chance of winning United States regulatory approval. Comcast has been persistent and aggressive in its interest to acquire Fox's assets, but the company will only proceed with the all-cash bid if a judge approves AT&T's $85 billion plan to acquire Time Warner, according to a Reuters report.

Sources told the outlet Comcast has been speaking with investment banks about getting ahold of bridge financing to stop the deal between Disney and Fox. That opened the door to Comcast's counteroffer. This deal would give Disney, already one of the most powerful media companies on the planet, the rights to various valuable intellectual properties and channels.

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Disney shares fell 1 percent in morning trade in NY, while Comcast's dipped 3.5 percent to $31.25.

Back in December, Disney said it reached an agreement with Fox to buy the company's film and TV studios, as well as its cable networks and worldwide TV businesses in a stock-based deal. Like Disney, Comcast sought to buy Fox's entertainment networks, movie studios, television production and worldwide assets, the filing shows. The deal was subject to approval from Disney and Fox shareholders, and it also needed to be approved by merger and regulatory reviews, as well as meet other "closing conditions". Comcast shares were down 1.5 percent to $31.90, while Disney shares were down 0.5 percent to $102.00.

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Comcast's stock has dropped since then, from around $38 to about $32 now, giving the company a market capitalization of $149 billion. That deal came after Fox rejected a bid from Comcast in November to buy its networks, movie studios, TV production and foreign assets.

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