In yet another wrinkle in the Disney-Fox-Comcast saga, Disney’s bid for Fox was backed by important proxy firms. Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co., both influential proxy advisors, endorsed the Disney bid earlier this week.
Proxy firms provide services to shareholders to vote their shares at shareholder meetings of large corporations. They also recommend how shareholders should vote at meetings, as is the case this time.
Both Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co. have recommended that Fox shareholders vote to approve the purchase by Disney at the July 27 meeting. Glass Lewis & Co. argues that Disney offers “a unique, prospectively far-reaching opportunity” for Fox shareholders.
In addition to these recent backings, the Justice Department has moved to appeal AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner, which was approved by a federal judge last month. This merger would pave the way for Comcast to acquire Fox since this potential purchase poses some substantial anti-trust questions.
If the Justice Department successfully blocks the AT&T-Time Warner merger, any bid by Comcast for Fox would not come with a guarantee that it would succeed. Since Disney has already gotten approval from the Justice Department for their bid, they are now seen as the runaway favorites for purchasing Fox.
Disney currently has a bid of $71 billion outstanding that will be voted on by Fox shareholders on July 27, while Comcast made a bid of $65 billion.
You can read all about the Fox acquisition saga in our timeline here.