Disney is reportedly bracing to fight off Comcast’s rival bid for 21st Century Fox with a “significant” amount of cash if need be.
According to CNBC’s David Faber, Disney is putting together financing in the event that Fox’s board wants cash. Disney and Fox already have a $52.4 billion deal in place but Comcast has announced it’s considering an all-cash counter offer for Fox.
“In view of the recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox, Inc. in preparation for their upcoming shareholder meetings to consider the acquisition of Fox by Disney, Comcast Corporation confirms that it is considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing, an offer for the businesses that Fox has agreed to sell to Disney (which do not include the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company and certain other assets),” Comcast said in a statement.
Comcast was reportedly in the mix for Fox’s entertainment assets last year but the Fox ultimately went with Disney’s offer.
Disney’s deal for Fox was officially announced in December 2017. Disney will take ownership of film businesses including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, and television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox 21. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.
Comcast is reportedly keeping a close eye on AT&T’s $85 billion bid for Time Warner, which the Justice Department challenged in court. A decision is due June 12 and if AT&T is allowed to by Time Warner, Comcast will go ahead with its counteroffer for Fox.