Comcast dropping out of Twenty-First Century Fox bidding war

by Dwayne Torres July 20, 2018, 3:53
Comcast dropping out of Twenty-First Century Fox bidding war

It is not known if Murdoch, who is now the Executive Co-Chairman at 21st Century Fox, would maintain a role inside the company or if he would take some time off to celebrate being newly Wednesday for the fourth time to supermodel wife Jerry Hall. They are set to pay $52 billion for Fox and all of the assets that come with it, with the big exception of Fox News, Fox's broadcast networks, and its sports channels.

Comcast is dropping its bid for Fox's entertainment businesses, paving the way for Disney to boost its upcoming streaming service by buying the studios behind "The Simpsons" and X-Men.

"Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and instead will focus on our recommended offer for Sky", the company said on Thursday.

Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts
Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts

It's still going to take a bit of time before we see Disney announcing any solid plans for their new properties, until all the legal mumbo jumbo is sorted out. The idea of a Comcast Fox deal is officially dead. Home to popular franchises like X-Men, Deadpool, The Simpsons and more, Fox's entertainment assets could benefit Disney significantly. However with Comcast out of the race, Fox shareholders really only have one option to choose and this should quicken the process. That's a 5% premium over Fox's most recent £14.00/share offer to purchase the 61% of shares in Sky that it doesn't already own. The U.S. Department of Justice last month approved Disney's deal with Fox. AT&T bought Time Warner last month for $81 billion. The Fox assets being acquired include a cable group with FX Networks, National Geographic and 300-plus global channels, plus Fox's stake in Hulu.

For one of Fox's assets though, the battle has only just begun.

It is not yet clear what will happen to Mr Murdoch's 39% stake in Sky, but it is thought that could also be sold to Comcast. As Disney is scheduled to launch its own streaming service to compete with Netflix and Hulu next year-even though this deal would potentially give Disney almost a one-third stake in Hulu-the value of that content can not be overstated, even from the Mouse House's coffers. Increasing the offer by £1 would add $1.5 billion of extra debt, and $60 million in annual interest costs, Disney has said.

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