Comcast prepares all-cash bid to gatecrash US$52b Disney-Fox deal: Sources

Comcast is speaking to investment banks about obtaining bridge financing for an all-cash bid to displace Walt Disney on its US$52 billion deal to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox's assets, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
A Comcast sign seen in Miami, Florida, on April 25, 2018.
A Comcast sign seen in Miami, Florida, on April 25, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS)- Comcast Corp is speaking to investment banks about obtaining bridge financing for an all-cash bid to displace Walt Disney Co on its US$52 billion (S$69.39 billion) deal to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's assets, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday (May 7).

The move is the first concrete step that Comcast is taking to upend Disney's deal with Fox. Comcast has already made a £22 billion (S$40 billion) offer to acquire the 61 per cent stake in European pay-TV group Sky Plc that Fox does not already own.

Comcast is asking investment banks to increase the bridge financing facility they have already arranged for the Sky offer by as much as US$60 billion to finance the Fox bid, the sources said.

Comcast is waiting for a US judge to rule next month on the US Department of Justice's challenge to US telecommunications provider AT&T Inc's planned acquisition of media conglomerate Time Warner Inc before it submits an offer to Fox, the sources said.

Fox rejected an offer from Comcast last year largely due to antitrust concerns, and Comcast plans to make a new offer only if AT&T and Time Warner prevail in court, the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Comcast, Fox and Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.