Money Disney Under Gun to Respond to Comcast's $65 Billion Fox Bid

16:27  14 june  2018
16:27  14 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Comcast is looking to acquire the majority stake of Sky (an international TV group which Fox owns 39% of), and they're also hoping to finance billion to make a bid for Fox . Disney Executive Responds To Solo’ s Opening Weekend Box Office.

Comcast announced an offer worth $ 65 billion for the bulk of 21st Century Fox ’ s businesses on Wednesday, setting up a showdown with the Walt Disney Company for Rupert Murdoch’ s media empire. The all-cash bid by Comcast

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Your move, Disney.

After Comcast Corp. made a $65 billion bid on Wednesday for 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets -- the same holdings that Walt Disney Co. had agreed to buy for about $52.4 billion -- the Mouse House is under pressure to respond.

At stake is a trove of media properties, ranging from “The Simpsons” to “X-Men,” that are key to Disney fending off the threat from Netflix Inc. and other streaming upstarts. The question is whether Disney can convince Fox investors that it’s still the most compelling partner.

“What it really comes down to is price and who wants it more,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

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Comcast bids B for 21st Century Fox assets. The company on Wednesday formalized a $ 65 billion all-cash bid for most of Fox . It' s a dramatic attempt to thwart Disney , which reached a .4 billion deal in December for the same film and TV assets.

Related: Disney / Fox Deal Could Be Impacted By Comcast Buying Sky. The New York Times With the official purchase price for Disney sitting high at .4 billion , that means Comcast ' s bid was Disney 's already shown an ability to smoothly integrate new studios and IPs into their slate under

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable-TV provider, is offering $35 a share for the Fox assets, saying the bid represents a 19 percent premium over the Disney offer. And it’s cash, rather than the stock that Disney is proposing.

The move follows AT&T Inc.’s victory over the U.S. Justice Department in its antitrust battle to take over Time Warner Inc. That outcome is expected to spur a wave of media consolidation, emboldening companies to make offers they might otherwise have skipped.

Why AT&T-Time Warner Win Opens the Dealmaking Gates: QuickTake

The Disney-Comcast contest will determine who controls much of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, including Fox’s movie and TV studios, television networks such as FX, and multichannel providers like Star India and Sky Plc. With Wednesday’s bid, Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts is seeking to disrupt Disney CEO Bob Iger’s plan to use Fox properties to bolster that company’s already-vast entertainment offerings.

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Related: Why Comcast and Disney both want to buy Fox . Comcast did not detail the exact value of its bid Wednesday, though sources have previously told CNN that the offer would be worth about billion . Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Seven years after swallowing up NBCUniversal, Comcast announced it' s sent a letter to 21 Century Fox ' s Board of Directors informing them of a $ 65 billion cash offer for everything that it had agreed in December to sell to Disney for billion in stock.

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Brian Roberts

Under the terms of its merger agreement with Fox, Disney has the right of refusal on any counteroffer. While it will have five days to make a fresh bid, the clock doesn’t start ticking until after the Fox board has assessed the Comcast offer and deemed it superior to Disney’s.

Disney, based in Burbank, California, didn’t have an immediate comment.

Comcast first approached Fox last year with an informal proposal. Comcast bid 16 percent more than Disney for Fox’s media properties, but that offer was deemed too risky. The AT&T decision has lifted some of those clouds.

Murdoch, 87, also wasn’t swayed by Comcast’s overtures because the cable company didn’t offer a breakup fee. Comcast said last month that its new offer would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as Disney’s terms. Indeed, the proposal unveiled on Wednesday includes a $2.5 billion termination fee -- similar to what Disney has offered.

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There are reports Comcast is considering topping Disney ' s bid to purchase the bulk of 21st Century Fox . In December last year, Disney struck an unprecedented deal with 21st Century Fox that would see them purchase .4 billion worth of assets from the company.

Advertising [x]. By Michael Kennedy. – on Jun 13, 2018. In Movie News. Media monolith Comcast still isn't ready to let Disney have Fox , making an offer for the company that easily tops the House of Mouse.

“We are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the board’s stated concerns with our prior proposal,” Roberts, 58, said in a letter to Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, who also serve as Fox executives. “We are also highly confident that our proposed transaction will obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner and that our transaction is as or more likely to receive regulatory approval than the Disney transaction.”

In response, Fox said it would “carefully review” Comcast’s unsolicited proposal.

Netflix Threat

Disney’s Fox bid, which was hammered out in December, was partly a bulwark against the technology giants that are storming Hollywood. Traditional media companies have been racing to bulk up, betting that having more content will give them an edge.

In recent weeks, Philadelphia-based Comcast confirmed its desire to outbid Disney in advance of shareholder votes set for July 10. On Wednesday, it filed a proxy statement urging investors to oppose the Disney deal. Fox said it hasn’t yet made a decision whether to postpone the vote.

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The question now is whether Comcast has potentially thrown a wrench in Disney ' s .4 billion acquisition bid for 21st Century Fox ' s assets. Disney , Comcast and Sky did not immediately respond to TheWrap’ s request for comment.

Comcast is making a $ 65 billion bid for Fox ' s entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company.

Comcast already owns film and TV studios, broadcast and cable TV operations including the NBC and USA networks, and the Universal Studios theme parks. But both Disney and Comcast could use Fox’s TV and movie properties to stream more content directly to consumers and compete with Netflix. The companies also are interested in expanding internationally at a time when the U.S. television business is slowing.

Vertical Mergers

When a federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s suit against the Time Warner deal, it was seen as an endorsement of so-called vertical mergers -- combinations that include both media distribution and the programming itself.

Comcast also is making an ambitious push in Europe that centers on U.K. pay TV provider Sky. After Fox made a takeover offer for the 61 percent stake in Sky that it doesn’t already own, Comcast launched a 22 billion pound ($30 billion) counterbid for the business. Disney also is interested in owning Sky. Share’s in the British broadcaster rose 0.2 percent to 13.38 pounds at 8:14 a.m. in London.

But Comcast investors haven’t welcomed the company’s sudden appetite for megadeals. Its shares were down 19 percent this year through Wednesday. If Comcast buys Fox and Sky, the cable giant could become one of America’s largest corporate borrowers and its credit ratings may teeter at the bottom edge of investment grade.

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The bid from Comcast throws that into doubt, and it' s not clear how Disney and Fox will respond . Comcast is a daunting rival for Fox , with far greater financial firepower. Its bid values Sky at £22 billion ( billion ), roughly £3 billion (.2 billion ) more than Murdoch' s offer.

With little regard for Comcast ' s own stock over the past year, along with its + billion long-term debt load, its not a huge surprise Fox might prefer If Disney did decide to put in another bid , I wouldn't be surprised to see it come in at $ 65 B or more with Fox 's stock potentially moving up towards a

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Roberts, Comcast’s CEO, said on a conference call that he was comfortable with what he called “temporary releveraging.”

Comcast’s board has already unanimously approved the Fox proposal, and no investor vote will be needed. To further sweeten the deal, Comcast plans to reimburse the $1.5 billion fee that it would have to pay Disney to break up that deal.

‘New Fox’

The two sides aren’t vying for all of Fox. Part of the business will be used to create an entity called “New Fox,” which will include the highly lucrative Fox News, the sports channels FS1 and FS2, and the Fox broadcasting channel. That operation will be run by Lachlan Murdoch and focus on domestic television, news and sports.

The approach is expected to generate more value by splitting up the Murdoch family’s far-flung holdings. Fox News alone is estimated to contribute about $2 billion a year in earnings to the company’s bottom line. New Fox also will house Fox Business and local TV stations in nine of the 10 largest metro areas in the U.S.

Roberts said he expects the Justice Department to review his proposed takeover plan at the same speed as Disney’s deal. And because Comcast has less of a presence outside the U.S., the company expects it can get international clearance easily. It also shouldn’t need a review by the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast said.

That means the transaction could close within 12 months of being signed, the cable company said.

“There should not be any meaningful difference in the timing of the U.S. antitrust review between a Comcast and Disney transaction,” Roberts said. “We expect to work together to reach an agreement over the next several days.”

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Disney increases Twenty-First Century Fox bid .
The battle with Comcast reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms. They are amassing ever more programming to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention – and dollars. The bidding war comes after AT&T bought Time Warner for 81 billion dollars (£61.4 billion), after a federal judge rejected the government’s antitrust concerns.Disney’s move had been expected ever since Comcast’s bid, which was higher than Disney’s original offer in December of 52.5 billion dollars (£39.8 billion) in stock. Comcast’s offer was all cash.

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