Seems Disney might not be able to waltz into a 21st Century Fox acquisition, after all. Comcast this morning announced plans to launch its own bid for the movie studio, offering a vague outline for a planned bid.
In a statement, Comcast says it’s in the “advanced stages of preparing” an offer for the bits Fox has agreed to sell to Disney.
“Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney,” Comcast writes. “The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast, including with respect to both the spin-off of ‘New Fox’ and the regulatory risk provisions and the related termination fee, would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer.”
The announcement of a potential bid follows a $52.4 billion all-stock offer posted by Disney back in December. The acquisition would not include some key Fox assets, including Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the Fox Broadcasting Company.
CNBC notes that, while Comcast plans to outbid Disney, Fox’s owners may ultimately side with the latter, due to an offer for a tax-free spin off of the company. Disney’s bid arrived as the company is planning its own streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu — the latter of which all three companies currently own a partial stake in.
Further complicating things here is the fact that Comcast is currently in a bidding war for Sky. The company is close to getting UK government approval on its $31 billion bid to buy the British broadcaster. Its chief competitors? Disney and Fox, naturally.