Comcast Is Prepping 'Superior' All-Cash Offer for Fox Assets

Comcast Prepared To Submit All Cash Offer For Fox Assets

Now Comcast Corp. has confirmed that it is preparing a "superior" all-cash bid for large parts of 21st Century Fox to top Disney's $52.4 billion deal.

According to United States of America today, while Comcast has not confirmed a number for the bid, earlier reports estimated that it to be about US$60 billion for Fox's studios, its one-third stake in Hulu, Fox's 22 regional sports networks and its stake in UK-based satellite TV and Internet provider Sky. While "no final decision has been made", the company said "any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney", adding that "the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced".

Disney has bid $52.4 billion bid for some of Twenty-First Century Fox's assets.

Sources familiar with the deal told Reuters at the start of May that Comcast was preparing bridge financing for a cash offer for the Fox assets, but Wednesday's statement is the first formal confirmation by the company it is ready to move.

But Comcast points out that Disney-owned national ESPN sports networks would combine with regional Fox sports networks in a Disney/Fox deal, creating a sports-media juggernaut. Fox's Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said earlier this month that the company was committed to its agreement with Disney. The company said the structure and terms of its offer would be at least as favorable as Disney's. Comcast shares were down 1.6 percent at $31.97 and Disney shares fell 1.7 percent to $102.26.

Comcast put in a $60bn bid for Fox past year, a 16% premium to Disney's offer, but Rupert Murdoch rejected it, citing regulatory concerns and share structure.

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Fox and Disney were not immediately available for comment.

The likelihood seems to still favour Disney, as financial experts are slightly bewildered by Comcast's reasons for desiring all the movie and TV IP's.

However, in its statement, Comcast promised to pay a significant break fee should regulators scupper a deal.

The deal would also make Disney one of the biggest players in sports television. The businesses at stake also include the 21st Century Fox film and television studios. Fox has a 39 percent stake in that company and has been trying to buy outright, but its bid has been blocked by regulators. Comcast said at the time that it "never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer". The Department of Justice has sued to block AT&T's $85 billion deal for Time Warner.

Updated May 23, 2018, with more details about another Comcast offer.

It's not entirely clear why Comcast wants to get their hands on Fox, but it's possible the company is attempting to combat the headaches cord-cutting has caused for them by acquiring Fox's full content library.

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