Comcast prepares all cash bid for 21st Century Fox

Comcast only plans to proceed with the bid if a federal judge allows AT&T's planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner to proceed. Matt Rourke  AP

Comcast only plans to proceed with the bid if a federal judge allows AT&T's planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner to proceed. Matt Rourke AP

Cable giant Comcast Corp.is getting the pieces in place to make a hostile bid for 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets should it choose to do so, according to people familiar with the situation.

According to Reuters, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts will only push the deal forward if AT&T's massive $85 billion takeover of Time Warner is allowed to proceed. That decision is expected in June from U.S. Disctric Court Judge Richard Leon. Earlier this year, Comcast, who already own NBC and Universal Studios, made their intentions known that they were planning an effort to outbid the House of Mouse for Fox, even though Fox had already denied Comcast's offer in favor of Disney's. "The acquisitions of both Fox and Sky for almost $100bn in all-cash would dramatically change the company's leverage profile".

After months of negotiation, they settled on a $52 billion acquisition, where Disney would acquire most of Fox's assets. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox's interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

The deal with the UFC, which was announced Tuesday morning, is part of Disney's strategy to broaden its base to reach male millennial consumers.

Disney's biggest unit, Media Networks, which includes ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel, reported revenue of $6.14 billion, a 3 percent increase.

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No comment has been made from either of the three involving parties and the sources have been asked to remain anonymous.

Fox shares rose 5.13 percent to $39.99 on the news in after-hours trading in NY on Monday. It is not clear how receptive he would be to an all-cash offer.

Whether Comcast is the largest US corporate borrower might hinge on AT&T's ability to close its acquisition of Time Warner Inc., a deal the government is trying to block. However, if the government does not approve, then Comcast has no intention of placing a bid. The cable company believes an all-cash offer would be compelling to most Fox shareholders.

Cashed up U.S. media Companies are looking to shore up their operations up against Google, Amazon and Apple who are looking to move into the content business. It was ultimately rejected by Fox because of regulatory hurdles.

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