Comcast Urges Fox Shareholders To Reject Disney’s Deal

Comcast Urges Fox Shareholders To Reject Disney’s Deal

Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch told Wall Street that the company remains "committed" to the Disney sale - indeed Fox and Disney shareholders are set to vote on the proposal on July 10.

Disney could still wind up with Fox, but it will need to at least match Comcast's bid to do so.

Comcast made a $65 billion offer for much of the Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox.

"We continue to believe that Disney has the superior balance sheet, cost of debt, equity and rationale to emerge victorious over Comcast in a bidding war".

The deal, if approved, would merge Comcast-owned Universal Studios and the NBC television network with Hollywood rival 20th Century Fox, Fox's cable entertainment networks and worldwide TV businesses.

It became possible when Rupert Murdoch, 87, and his son made a decision to slim down the media empire, leaving them with a "New Fox" that includes the Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and sports cable operations.

Earlier this year, it seemed as though the Disney/Fox merger was progressing just fine, with 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice telling Fox employees that the deal would most likely be completed by the end of summer 2019 at the latest.

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Roberts said Murdoch had built "one of the world's great media and entertainment companies", and that its history was similar to that of Comcast's.

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

"Our proposal represents a premium of approximately 19 percent to the value of Disney's offer as of noon today". In addition to the $35-per-share cash offer, Comcast agreed to pay a $2.5 billion termination fee if the deal doesn't pass regulatory muster. Comcast, Disney and Fox all own interests in streaming giant Hulu, so either deal would boast a challenge to Netflix, although Disney plans to start its own separate streaming service in Fall 2019.

Comcast was in talks to buy Fox late past year.

Justice Department lawyers who tried to stop AT&T's $85 billion deal expect consumers will lose out as bigger companies raise prices, and some lawyers saw that as a concern in a Comcast-Fox deal which would put two movie studios and two major television brands under one roof. Meanwhile, shares of Time Warner twx , up only 3% the past week, gained another 4%. Disney wouldn't face the same issues because it isn't a television distributor as the way Comcast and AT&T are. Owning Fox's stake in worldwide broadcaster Sky was also seen as a majorly attractive element of the Fox purchase. We have reviewed the publicly available terms of the proposed Disney transaction, as well as the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC describing the reasons for the 21CF Board of Directors' decision. According to Variety, Comcast has offered to reimburse Fox for that penalty if they accept their offer.

More news as we hear it.

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