Comcast threatens to derail Disney-Fox deal

Comcast threatens to derail Disney-Fox deal

Shares in 21st Century Fox Inc. spiked higher Monday evening after a report that Comcast preparing an all-cash deal to top The Walt Disney Co.'s $52.4 billion bid for some Fox assets.

While Comcast's shares have fallen since Disney announced its bid for 21st Century Fox, the cable company believes that it has a better chance with an all-cash bid, even if Rupert Murdoch prefers Disney's shares.

Citing three unspecified sources "familiar with the matter", the news agency reports that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts sees an opening if USA federal courts approve AT&T's $85b acquisition of Time Warner to go forward - a ruling is expected on that matter in June.

But whether Comcast will make this offer is dependent on the outcome of the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial.

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Sources told the outlet Comcast has been speaking with investment banks about getting ahold of bridge financing to stop the deal between Disney and Fox. In doing so, it topped an earlier offer for the entirety of Sky by Fox. "The UK government has stated that it will give its ruling on the Fox/Sky deal by 13 June and it is at this point we think we could see Fox raising its bid for Sky", UBS said.

Comcast has already made a formal unsolicited $31 billion offer in Europe for Sky satellite-TV business, which is partly controlled by Murdoch. (NYSE: DIS), which in December said it would take control of Fox's film, TV and global businesses in an all-stock transaction.

If Comcast does go forward with its new offer, Disney and Comcast could potentially get into a bidding war for Fox's assets. Comcast, Fox and Disney declined to comment. The Fox deal includes access to markets in Europe and Asia that both Disney and Comcast covet, not to mention blockbuster franchises including X-Men, Avatar, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and The Simpsons. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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