Comcast’s $65 billion all-cash offer for 21st Century Fox’s global entertainment assets is worth around $3.5 billion less to the media conglomerate’s controlling family, the Murdochs, than the $71.3 billion cash and stock bid they’ve accepted from Disney.
This is the conclusion reported Friday by Bloomberg, which says that Comcast’s all-cash offer would stick the Murdoch family with an upfront U.S. federal tax bill of $2.6 billion for their 17% stake in the company—a bill they would not face with the Disney offer.
Also factoring in the premium associated with Disney’s higher offer, the Murdochs would net as much as $11.8 billion from the Disney bid, compared to just $8.3 billion from the Comcast offer, Bloomberg added.
In order to make its offer as personally enriching to the right-wing Australian media barons, Comcast would have to raise its bid by 42% to $49.87 a share, or $92 billion total.
Fox has accepted Disney’s offer, which has already cleared the Justice Department’s antitrust review.
However, Comcast is reportedly talking to private equity firms and others who might come in and help it create a viable counterbid that doesn’t eventually drive the cable company into bankruptcy.
As for Bloomberg’s estimates, the news service admits they are somewhat speculative, with the tax implications for Disney’s offer still not entirely clear.
“The transaction is really complicated,” said Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “Lots of the tax consequences are uncertain.”