With things heating up on the business side of Disney at the moment, we thought we would recap the latest events in the Fox-Disney-Comcast saga.
Fox’s Bid to Purchase Sky:
- Jeremy Wright, the new UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who recently replaced Matt Hancock, announced that he will issue the final decision on Fox’s purchase of Sky on July 12, 2018.
- Various reports that once they receive approval, Fox will increase their bid for Sky. One number being reported is that Fox will increase their $25 billion bid to $33 billion.
- Comcast has until the end of the week to set out the terms of their $31 billion bid for Sky.
- Fox will have 21 days after Comcast sets out the terms to make a counter offer
- UPDATE: Fox has increased its bid to $32.5 billion or £14 per share, topping Comcast’s £12.50 per share offer.
- As a reminder, if Fox’s bid is successful, Disney will purchase Sky News
- If Fox’s bid is successful, and Disney’s bid for Fox is successful., Disney would own all of Sky.
21st Century Fox Shareholder Lawsuit:
- A shareholder lawsuit against 21st Century Fox looks to block the upcoming special meeting.
- The complaint points to the absences of financial projections for Hulu in the proxy statement as a violation of SEC rules, among other issues
- Fox declined to comment on the lawsuit.
- It is still expected that Comcast will make a new all-cash offer for the Fox assets, ahead of the scheduled shareholder meeting
- Comcast is reportedly talking to partners in efforts to raise money for their bid
- Comcast is also having discussions about selling Fox’s regional sports networks
- Disney has already agreed to sell the networks as part of a deal to gain regulatory approval
- Comcast sees this as a way to show that their bid will be just as easy to go through as Disney’s bid. It would also raise cash for their Fox bid
- Comcast reportedly believes that only 8 of Fox’s 18 regional sports networks overlap with their existing footprint
- Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, James Murdoch, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh, and Bob Iger are all attending the annual media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho
- The conference is known as a breeding ground for media deals
- Disney’s purchase of Fox Family was reportedly instigated at the conference as well as Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal
- The conference is very private with no press so we do not usually know what transpired until years later
- July 12: UK’s decision of Fox-Sky Deal
- July 13: Deadline for Comcast to lay out offer terms for Sky
- July 26: Comcast announces earnings
- July 27: Special shareholder meetings for 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company
- August 7: Disney announces earnings