Comcast Planning $60B Bid for Fox Assets

  • Comcast Planning $60B Bid for Fox Assets

Comcast Planning $60B Bid for Fox Assets

According to the outlet, Comcast Corp is "asking investment banks to increase a bridge financing facility by as much as $60 billion" so they can make a cash offer to acquire the 21st Century Fox media assets they agreed to sell to Disney.

Cable TV giant Comcast rained on Fox's parade by topping the latter's £19bn offer for pay-TV behemoth Sky PLC (LON:SKY) with a £22bn bid but Fox shareholders are likely to be happier at this latest twist in Comast-Sky-Fox-Disney ménage à quatre. If Disney were to acquire networks like FX, stakes in National Geographic, Hulu, Sky, and various worldwide satellite groups, it would give them a level of power that is near unprecedented, even in today's age of growing media monopolies. (NYSE: DIS), which in December said it would take control of Fox's film, TV and global businesses in an all-stock transaction. Combined, Disney and Fox account for over 40% of the domestic box office. Fox's 39% stake in the company is one of the reasons the buy-out is so attractive to both Disney and Comcast. Comcast already owns NBCUniversal, a huge entertainment conglomerate. Regulators anxious that the nation's largest cable company would prevent the online streaming service from becoming a viable competitor to cable TV.

The Justice Department sued to block the merger, saying it would harm competition.

This isn't the first time Comcast has been interested in Fox's media assets.

The new meeting ground for video programming distributors! Fox previously rejected Comcast's $60 billion bid back in November due to similar regulatory concerns. But operating profit declined 6 percent, to $2.08 billion, because of higher costs - notably spending on unprofitable streaming services like ESPN+ and Hulu - and subscriber declines at ESPN.

Disney has already had an offer of $52 billion in stock options accepted by Fox. AT&T says the acquisition of Time Warner would allow it to transform its business. A trial was held, and a judge's decision is expected by June 12.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts plans to table a bid only if a federal judge allows AT&T Inc's planned $85-billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc to proceed, the report said.

As part of the historic deal, Disney would acquire 21st Century Fox's critically acclaimed film production businesses, including 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 - the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water, The Martian and much more.