In an effort to top Walt Disney’s offer of $52 billion to acquire most of 21st Century Fox’s assets, Comcast is planning to make a $60 billion all-cash bid.
As a part of their improved all-cash bid, Comcast also plans to acquire 100 percent of U.K. satellite broadcaster Sky. Sources familiar with the matter noted that a bidding war might ensue between Disney and Comcast, and drive Comcast’s bid for all of Sky and Fox close to $100 billion.
If the federal government intervenes by declining to approve AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, Comcast will not bid.
CNBC reported, “Comcast is asking investment banks to increase the bridge financing facility they have already arranged for the Sky offer by as much as $60 billion to finance the Fox bid. Comcast originally touted its strong stock as a reason for Fox to accept a deal from the largest U.S. cable provider instead of Disney.”
Since Disney announced its bid for Fox, Comcast shares have fallen approximately 15 percent, leading Comcast to discern that it would have a better chance with an all-cash bid, even if Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch prefers Disney shares.
On Comcast’s last earnings call, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanaugh said, “Regarding potential acquisitions, it is our job to continuously evaluate whether there are opportunities for us to create value. But should we pursue anything while our stock is at these levels, while circumstances can always change, I think it is unlikely that we would use Comcast shares as a medium of exchange for a transaction.”
Sources claimed that Comcast thinks Disney cannot match an all-cash bid for Fox because, if it adds more stock to a deal, Fox stock will decline, depressing the value of the offer.