Disney Might Lose 21st Century Fox Purchase to Comcast With Upcoming Offer

Comcast Prepared To Submit All Cash Offer For Fox Assets

A bidding war for 21st Century Fox's coveted entertainment businesses is on the horizon after Comcast said that it was preparing a "superior" offer to the $52.4 billion bid made by Walt Disney. The company did not provide details, other than to say that its all-cash offer would have a higher value than Disney's current, $52.4 billion all-stock offer. Fox agreed in December to sell its film and TV studios, cable channels including FX and National Geographic and other assets to Burbank, California-based Disney in an all-stock deal.

Whether Fox accepts an offer from Comcast or Disney, any deal that's approved will then go to the Justice Department for regulatory review, which couldreportedly take a year to complete, but may take even longer given the department's recent involvement in big media company mergers. Disney would also control Fox's cable and global TV businesses. Disney wouldn't get all that Fox has to offer, however, as Murdoch would still run the Fox News channel, the Fox broadcast network in the USA, and the FS1 Sports network, as part of a new company spun off from 21st Century Fox. It said this "would be at least as favourable to Fox shareholders" as Disney's offer of $2.5bn.

However, since the bid was accepted, Comcast has become a noisy competitor, offering a higher price for Fox.

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In a letter to Rupert Murdoch, Hohn revealed an unexpectedly large 7.4% stake in Fox and dismissed regulatory risk that might rise from a Comcast/Fox deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The group announced last week that his son Lachlan Murdoch would assume the role of chairman and chief executive at the "new" Fox, which would be tightly focused around the Fox News Channel and sports cable channels.

Comcast has separately made a firm offer for the Sky satellite-TV business for $31 billion, taking the total potential deals in Comcast's pipeline to about $90 billion, all in cash.

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For those unaware, Comcast is the parent company of Universal Studios and NBC Universal. Disney also owns the rights to the Star Wars movie franchise after buying Lucasfilm in October 2012.

Seems Disney might not be able to waltz into a 21st Century Fox acquisition, after all.

It's not entirely clear why Comcast wants to get their hands on Fox, but it's possible the company is attempting to combat the headaches cord-cutting has caused for them by acquiring Fox's full content library. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer. Fox has a 39 percent stake in that company and has been trying to buy outright, but its bid has been blocked by regulators.

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"It all depends on the AT&T and Time Warner deal", said Brian Weiser, analyst at Pivotal Research.

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