As the bell was ringing to mark the end of the trading day today, Comcast unveiled a massive $65 billion all-cash bid to purchase much of 21st Century Fox. This offer comes hot on the heels of the federal approval of AT&T – Time Warner merger, which would make a Comcast acquisition of 21st Century Fox much easier from an antitrust perspective.
This offer is up from Comcast’s first bid of $60 billion, which was also an all-cash deal. What’s important to remember is that Disney and 21st Century Fox already agreed on a $52.4 billion all-stock deal in December of 2017.
The Disney/21st Century Fox deal is far from complete, despite both parties holding a shareholder vote in the coming weeks to decide on the possible acquisition. The Comcast bid represents a 19% “premium” over the Disney bid, and is all-cash compared to Disney’s all-stock offer, although Disney’s all-stock offer will not be subject to capital gains tax for Fox shareholders, making the value of the stock deal somewhat better than it appears on paper.
21st Century Fox originally rejected the $60 billion Comcast offer due to concerns that the federal government might block such a deal. Now that yesterday’s AT&T ruling will ease the approval pathway for a Comcast deal, Fox may need to take another look at any Comcast offer. The new $65 billion offer from Comcast also includes a $2.5 billion reverse breakup fee if the deal is struck down by the government.
Stay tuned to WDWNT for more on this breaking story.