Comcast’s decision to bid for some of Fox’s assets with cash came several months after it had an all-stock offer rejected. In fact, the broadcasting conglomerate pushed a more generous deal than Disney.
Fox previously “turned down a Comcast stock offer in the low $60 billion range before sealing the Disney deal” because of regulatory concerns, the Wall Street Journal article said.
If the judge agrees to allow AT&T to acquire Time Warner, some thing Comcast could make a hostile bid for Fox assets because it would be more likely that a Comcast/Fox deal would be approved by regulators.
“At the margin, the news may be seen as negative for investor sentiment on Sky as it may limit Comcast’s ability to counter-bid should Fox raise its offer for Sky”, UBS said.
After losing out on their initial bid, Comcast is said to be readying yet another bid for 21st Century Fox that could upend Disney’s deal with the company. Comcast already has a $30 billion bridge loan to finance its Sky offer. Comcast already made media history in 2009 when they acquired a majority stake in NBCUniversal.
Shares of Disney initially gained a lot more than one percent in after-hours trade.
Disney’s biggest unit, Media Networks, which includes ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel, reported revenue of $6.14 billion, a 3 percent increase. Quizzed on what would happen to the Sky bid in the event of a renewed bid for Fox, his only comment was that “there’s not much to say on that question, unfortunately”. It is also unclear how receptive Murdoch would be to an all-cash deal. The Roberts family controls Comcast through a dual-class stock structure.
Disney in December had offered to buy film, television and worldwide businesses from Fox for $52.4 billion in stock to beef up its offering against streaming rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.