Comcast Readying Cash Bid to Upend Fox-Disney Deal
Comcast Readying Cash Bid to Upend Fox-Disney Deal
Fox Jumps on Report That Comcast Is Considering Counterbid to Disney
09 May, 2018, 00:58
Comcast attempted to acquire Fox's assets previous year in a bid worth US$64 billion, but Fox opted to recommend Disney's lower bid, citing regulatory hurdles that would have stood in the way of an alternative scenario. It's waiting for a federal judge to issue a ruling next month in the Justice Department's challenge to the AT&T-Time Warner merger before making its move, the news organization reports.
According to Bloomberg and Reuters, Comcast is in talks with investment banks to set up an all-cash bid for 21st Century Fox film and TV businesses. In doing so, it topped an earlier offer for the entirety of Sky by Fox.
All in all, these deals have put Fox and Disney in precarious situations.
Disney shares fell 1 percent in morning trade in NY, while Comcast's dipped 3.5 percent to $31.25.
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It comes as the US Cable operator and owner of the NBC broadcast network prepares to intensify its bid for 21st Century Fox with an all cash deal. By U.K. law, Disney would have to make an offer for all of Sky if it were to acquire Fox's 39% interest. Comcast itself owns 30% of Hulu, but Disney would have majority ownership through its $52.4 billion stock offer - assuming the deal goes through. "If they acquire both and remain integrated, it would change our thesis (Cable would be less than 50% of the value); however, it would be hard not to be excited about a phenomenal Cable asset coupled with a global content powerhouse, trading at 9x FCF".
Comcast's stock has dropped since then, from around $38 to about $32 now, giving the company a market capitalization of $149 billion.
Fox is in the final stages of a bid to buy the 61 percent of the United Kingdom broadcaster it does not already own but at 10.75 pounds a share compared with Comcast's 12.50 pounds has so far made the lower offer.
Disney has committed to share buybacks as a way of returning cash to Fox shareholders. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.
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