“Comcast announced a $65 billion bid for Twenty-First Century Fox units that are currently in an agreement to be acquired by Disney,” Alex Sherman and Liz Moyer report for CNBC. “The bid, announced Wednesday, represents a 19 percent premium to Disney’s offer. Comcast, the parent of CNBC, offered $35 a share in cash.”
“Disney agreed in December to buy the majority of Fox for $52.4 billion in stock,” Sherman and Moyer report. “The deal included Fox’s movie studios, networks National Geographic and FX, Star TV, and stakes in Sky, Endemol Shine Group and Hulu, as well as regional sports networks.”
“The assets would increase Comcast’s international footprint and boost its entertainment portfolio at a time when it’s facing pressure in its video business as more consumers cut the cord and turn to internet-delivered video services like Netflix,” Sherman and Moyer report. “Comcast is planning for an increased bid from Disney that may include a cash component, according to people familiar with the matter.”
“Comcast feels confident of its chances to get a deal passed by U.S. regulators after AT&T’s deal was approved yesterday, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast is willing to divest Fox’s regional sports networks and even Fox’s portion of Hulu, if necessary, the people said. While Comcast would like to keep the Fox stake in Hulu if possible, and thinks it should be able to, it would consider dropping down closer to 50 percent if necessary, one of the people said. Comcast, Fox and Disney all own 30 percent of Hulu. Time Warner owns the other 10 percent,” Sherman and Moyer report. “Asked about Hulu on the investor call, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said, ‘We think that’s a very important part of this deal,’ adding that Comcast would be interested in investing in and growing the streaming service in the future.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Bidding war!