Comcast Makes $65 Billion All-Cash Rival Bid for 21st Century Fox
Comcast has been waiting to upstage The Walt Disney Company. The Philadelphia cable giant looks to start a bidding war with the Mouse House. Fox Executive Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his shareholders have decisions to make. It's obvious Murdoch wants his Fox assets at Disney. Comcast is trying to nudge itself into the deal. There are about a billion reasons that this rival bid may actually work.
If this rival bid is successful. We would see Comcast's NBC broadcast network and Universal's movie studio with FX cable network, 20th Century Fox, a lucrative group of regional sports networks and a stake in British satellite broadcaster Sky. Disney has the opportunity to match or raise the stakes of their offer. Fox is already planning to have a July 10 investors meeting to discuss the original Disney deal. Although that date can be delayed due to Comcast's new deal. Fox's board of directors encouraged their shareholders to approve the Disney deal.
The showdown will set the stage between Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts and Disney CEO Bob Iger. If Iger is successfully able to fend off Roberts and Comcast it would only continue to boost his legacy and his remarkable expansion during his tenure at Disney. Acquisitions that included Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm. Not to mention the amount of money Disney poured into BAMTech. The video service unit that will power all their direct-to-consumer services.
The possible Disney-Fox or Comcast-Fox deal gained some momentum when AT&T was granted permission to merge with Time Warner Cable. Fox may be swayed by the Comcast deal. Comcast originally made a $60 billion all cash bid for the Fox assets but was worried about government regulation. After the AT&T/Time Warner approval it looks Comcast has found some confidence.
Disney's original offer was for $52.4 billion. So Comcast took it up a notch with this $65 billion bid. Comcast and Universal are really trying to kill the dreams of a complete Marvel Cinematic Universe. Comcast deal also includes a $2.5 billion breakup fee.
Comcast might've made an intriguing offer to Fox. One that they can ponder before deciding if the Mouse House is the true fit. Money talks, and it will be fascinating to see what happens.