The Disney/Fox Merger Hits A Comcast Shaped Roadblock

Image copyright Comcast-NBCUniversal/Walt Disney Co./21st Century Fox 2018

The ongoing Disney/Fox acquisition has made headlines once again, but this time, there’s another player in the mix.

Comcast has entered the game to try and buy out 21st Century Fox, in a move that could upend the whole deal with Disney.

In a report from CNBCComcast is apparently currently in talks with the banks to make a $60 billion cash buy out of Fox – some $8 billion more than Disney had initially offered, though it should be noted that Disney‘s offer was all stock and shares, not hard cash.

This isn’t the first time Comcast has offered a bid for control over Fox, although their initial bid was passed over. This bid also came about after the announced Disney deal, with Fox rejecting Comcast‘s offer due to trust concerns with the company.

Since that bid, Comcast has still tried to purchase the Fox-owned Sky-TV, offering some $21 billion, some 16% higher than the bid received by Fox head-honcho Rupert Murdoch.

However, all that being said, it could be a while before that deal goes through as Comcast is not looking to make the offer just yet, reportedly waiting for a US judge ruling sometime next month regarding AT&T‘s planned acquisition of Time Warner before it could make a cash offer for 21st Century Fox.

The Disney deal is currently being reviewed by the American Government, and the earliest it is believed to be finalised is Summer 2019.

And, since the report was brought to light, Disney CEO Bob Iger has given his opinion on Comcast muscling in on his company’s deal.

Speaking to CNBC in a separate report to the one above, Iger said;

“We made a good deal, actually a deal that shareholders reacted quite favourably to and we’re going to remain confident in our ability to close.

[Comcast] obviously believed not only in what we were paying but how we were paying for it.

Furthermore, there is a ‘strategic fit’ with the Fox and Disney assets, which are ‘quite attractive’.

We believe, therefore, that that currency will be attractive long term.”

However, should the Disney deal fall apart, Disney is expected to lose $2.5 billion dollars, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and, to make matters worse, Fox would end up owing Disney a reported $1.525 billion. So, whilst Comcast may be able to offer up more money for the acquisition, it would certainly work out more costly for both Disney and Fox. So, there’s still hope for that X-Men and Fantastic Four appearance in the MCU afterall.

-James 10/05/2018

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