Comcast seeks to upset Walt Disney's bid for Twenty-First Century Fox

Alicia Cross
May 9, 2018

U.S. cable giant Comcast is reportedly seeking a loan of up to $60 billion to support a cash bid for media properties that 21st Century Fox has already said it will sell to Walt Disney Co for a fee of $52 billion.

Sky might not be the limit for Comcast Corp., which is mulling another bid for 21st Century Fox assets, a move that could upend the Walt Disney Co.'s efforts to buy much of Fox from Rupert Murdoch.

Reuters, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that Comcast would only continue with the deal if the judge in AT&T's ongoing antitrust trial sides with the telco and allows its proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner to proceed. This deal would give Disney, already one of the most powerful media companies on the planet, the rights to various valuable intellectual properties and channels.

For its part, Disney successfully outbid Comcast in December for a collection of assets that include Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, along with the television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox 21.

Comcast declined on Tuesday morning to comment. Comcast's potential takeover bid for Fox presents a challenge.

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At the time, Walt Disney released a statement that said the companies had entered into a "definitive agreement" for the acquisition, which would include the 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and global TV businesses.

Comcast's decision to bid for some of Fox's assets with cash came several months after it had an all-stock offer rejected. Disney, Fox, and Comcast each own 30 percent of Hulu; Time Warner owns the other 10 percent. However, a new report suggests that Comcast is not only reviving its bid for Fox, but is also prepared to spend some serious money to do so.

Obama administration regulators also prevented Comcast from buying Time Warner Cable, saying that Comcast could use its increased size to stifle the competition that online video streaming services pose to cable TV.

Reuters reports that Comcast is speaking with investment bankers about obtaining bridge financing for an all-cash offer.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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