Here comes a new twist in the whole Comcast-Sky-Fox-Disney tussle. Comcast (CMCSA) is said to be in discussions with investment banks on financing options for a proposed bid to acquire 21st Century Fox’s (FOXA) film and TV assets, in an effort to overthrow Walt Disney’s (DIS) offer for the same assets.
Comcast had offered a higher price for Fox’s assets a month before Disney came in with a lower proposal last December and Rupert Murdoch had cited regulatory concerns as the reason for accepting Disney’s smaller offer.
Now Comcast is said to be mulling an offer of up to $60 billion for Fox’s assets to outdo Disney’s $52-billion proposal. Comcast has also submitted a $31-billion bid for Sky Plc, which is under review by EU authorities.
Fox’s assets are extremely attractive regarding the brand value and scale it offers — this is why both Comcast and Disney are keen on purchasing them. Along with access to overseas markets and control of profitable entertainment franchises, the deal also comes with Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu.
The possibility of Comcast making a bid for Fox lies on the success of the AT&T-Time Warner (T, TWX) merger. If this merger successfully makes it past the regulatory hurdles, Comcast can hope to do the same.
If Comcast manages to acquire both Sky and Fox, the transactions would be worth around $100 billion, and would consist of a massive amount of media and entertainment assets. It remains to be seen if the regulatory agencies would allow such a mass consolidation to take place.