Comcast preparing to top Disney's bid for Fox

24 May, 2018, 09:27 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Comcast preparing to top Disney's bid for Fox

The corporation says it's "in advanced stages of preparing" an all-cash offer that would would outbid Disney's official all-stock deal for 21st Century Fox.

It was reported earlier this month that Comcast, whose properties already include Universal Pictures and NBC, was attempting to line up financing for a cash offer that would be more appealing to Fox shareholders than the $52.4 billion all-stock bid announced in December by Disney.

Like Disney, it wants to buy all of Fox's assets except its news channel and main sports and business networks.

Comcast said, "the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced". "The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast ... would be at least as favourable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer".

Comcast shares were down 1.5 percent at $32.01 while Disney was down 0.6 percent at $103.48 in premarket trading. Even before the announcement, Comcast's expansion plans have weighed on the shares, which are down 19% this year. The Department of Justice has sued to block AT&T's $85 billion deal for Time Warner.

The news follows reports that Comcast had asked investment banks to increase a debt facility by as much as $60bn so it can make the offer, although the exact value of Comcast's new bid is not clear.

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Fox has said it remained committed to its offer for Sky and is "considering its options", which means it could potentially raise its bid.

Fox and Disney didn't immediately comment.

Tuna Amobi, analyst with research firm CFRA, said that the Fox deal presents a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for Comcast because "almost no one expected Rupert Murdoch and his family to sell out at this time".

Larry Downes, project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, said Comcast's interest highlights the fact that content is becoming more important as ways to deliver content proliferate. Comcast, which owns the NBCUniversal media-entertainment group and is the largest U.S. cable operator, said it was prepared to pay more that Disney. "That's what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets".

Comcast has not specified a price for its bid. According to Forbes, the former's offer could amount to about $60 billion.

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