Comcast eyes Fox in anything-goes deal world

Comcast eyes Fox in anything-goes deal world

Disney's $52 billion all-stock buy out of Fox's film, television, and worldwide businesses was announced in December 2017 - one month after Comcast made a higher all-stock offer to buy the same assets. Comcast has been persistent and aggressive in its interest to acquire Fox's assets, but the company will only proceed with the all-cash bid if a judge approves AT&T's $85 billion plan to acquire Time Warner, according to a Reuters report.

Already T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are back at it, agreeing to a merger last month just as the odds of the AT&T-Time Warner deal began to shift further in the companies' favor. The Comcast-Fox-Disney drama has also extended to the United Kingdom, where the three are involved in complicated merger drama involving Sky PLC.

Comcast and Fox declined to comment.

Reuters cited three anonymous sources as saying Comcast has asked for an increase in its bridge financing facility.

As such, 21st Century Fox is keeping Murdoch's darlings, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and the broadcast network FOX (Disney nor Comcast could legally own FOX, as they each respectively already own a major broadcast with ABC and NBC between them). Indeed, now Comcast is offering 22 billion pounds (about $30 billion) to acquire 61 percent ownership of Sky. Disney shares fell as much as 2% hours before the company's scheduled earnings report.

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"We still think Comcast will face a stiff fight for Fox and Sky and will likely end up with neither", Jonathan Chaplin, the managing partners New Street Research, said Tuesday".

Analyst Richard Greenfield with BTIG Research said Comcast can make the math work on an all-cash deal and that the synergies are greater for Comcast/Fox/Sky than Disney/Fox/Sky due to distribution overlaps.

But regulatory fears could wane if a federal judge allows AT&T acquire HBO-owner Time Warner Inc. A final decision on the takeover, which has attracted antitrust concerns, is expected in June.

For those unaware, Comcast was another corporate entity that proposed to acquire 21st Century Fox past year.