Comcast persists with possible all-cash bid for Fox assets

10 May, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Ethel Goodwin
  • Fox hunt heats up as Comcast prepares to duel with Disney over Rupert Murdoch's company

Cable giant Comcast getting the pieces in place to make a hostile bid for 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets should it choose to do so, according to people familiar with the situation.

A new Comcast bid would be a direct challenge to Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, whose effort to buy much of Fox was seen as a bold move to cement his legacy and secure Disney's future.

Comcast and Fox declined to comment. A similar deal underway involving Time Warner and AT&T is now under deliberation by the U.S. government. However, if the government does not approve, then Comcast has no intention of placing a bid.

Arguments in the antitrust case against the deal concluded last week, with the judge saying he would announce his ruling on June 12.

Comcast plans to put up to $60bn in cash for the majority of the Fox's assets, according to a report by Reuters.

As per media reports, Comcast is asking bankers to increase the loans it has to buy Sky so it can purchase the Fox assets as well.

Comcast earlier this year made a bid for European satellite company Sky.

Comcast has circled the Fox assets for months. A Comcast bid, should it materialise, would eclipse Disney's $US52.4-billion ($70 billion) proposal.

A venture fund is one of several new opportunities James Murdoch has been considering, some of the people said.

One concern raised from the Fox side during the last round of deliberations was the relative value of Comcast shares versus Disney shares, so an all-cash bid would take that off the table, the person said. Fox's shares are up almost 50 per cent since early October.

John Nallen, now the chief financial officer of 21st Century Fox, is expected to become the chief operating officer of the so-called New Fox, the people said. The 21st Century Fox intellectual property would add to the exclusive content on that video streaming service.



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