Comcast drops out of Twenty-First Century Fox bidding war
Jul 20, 2018, 18:32
Comcast made its bid of $65 billion in June, aiming to capitalize on what was seen as an easier regulatory path after AT&T successfully defended an antitrust challenge to its acquisition of media-entertainment group Time Warner.
Comcast and Disney were embattled in a bidding war for Fox Studios which at first saw Disney bid $52.4 billion, but then Comcast offered an all-cash deal of $60 billion, which Disney followed up with the $71.3 billion offer.
As has been previously reported, Comcast will instead focus its attention on acquiring the Sky network, which has a big foreign audience.
The cable and media company said Thursday that it is dropping its bid, instead focusing on its pursuit of the European pay-TV operator Sky. Disney CEO Bob Iger had this to say in a statement regarding Comcast's decision to no longer pursue Fox. There was an issue with regional sports networks, and Disney agreed to sell those off to get Department of Justice approval. Home to popular franchises like X-Men, Deadpool, The Simpsons and more, Fox's entertainment assets could benefit Disney significantly. Those would be spun off into a new company, and Disney would acquire 21st Century Fox after the spinoff. Many market analysts have concluded Comcast and Disney may reach a truce without even exchanging a word in private, carving up Fox's domestic holdings for Disney and allowing Comcast to take control of a majority of Sky's assets.
However, it still leaves open a potential bidding war for Sky, which is 39-percent owned by Fox. Fox will maintain control of the main Fox broadcasting network, along with Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 and the Fox News cable network. If Fox wins, it will likely mean Disney will have to increase what it's paying for Fox anyway as the total value of the company will have increased.
Shares in Sky closed...
He said Comcast's focus now is on getting Sky "to build a strong beachhead content strategy in Europe". "I don't think Disney wants to give up Sky", said Crispin Odey, whose eponymous hedge fund owns Sky shares.
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