Disney’s takeover of Fox could be in jeopardy thanks to cable giant Comcast.
The Philadelphia company is keen to take Disney’s planned purchase of 21st Century Fox, and they’re willing to pay top dollar to do so. The company has announced that it has delivered an all-cash offer of $US65 billion to purchase 21st Century Fox’s TV and studio assets, which includes the 20th Century Fox movie studio and its Marvel properties. The offer surpasses the $US52.4 billion put forth by Walt Disney Company.
Disney can either outbid that offer or match it. Expected the bidding war to start heating up.
Comcast’s proposal follows the green light given to AT&T to complete its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.
“We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts wrote in a letter to the Murdochs (Rupert, Lachlan and James). “After our meetings last year, we came away convinced that the 21CF businesses to be sold are highly complementary to ours, and that our company would be the right strategic home for them.”
To further showcase their determination to buy Fox, Comcast has stated that it also intends to reimburse the $US1.52 billion fee that Fox would receive for pulling out of its current pact with Disney.
This would be quite the get for Comcast, which already owns NBCUniversal. If they come out on top, they would be bringing 20th Century Fox in connection with the NBC broadcast network, the Universal movie studio, and the FX cable network.
While Fox has confirmed that they have received Comcast’s offer, the company is yet to disclose anything further. Fox has an investor meeting planned for July 10, although that date could be pushed back with this development. Comcast, taking that date into account, is pushing Fox to accept their offer quickly.
“Because of your decision to schedule the vote on the Disney merger proposal for July 10, time is of the essence for your consideration of our proposal,” reads Roberts’ letter. “We are available to meet at any time to answer questions of the Board, management or your advisors, so that you are in a position to validate the superiority of our offer, and negotiate and enter into a merger agreement, as soon as possible thereafter.”
Fox’s board is expected to meet soon to discuss Comcast’s proposal. In the meantime, the industry waits to see how Disney will respond. Stay tuned, folks!