Fox shares up on potential Comcast offer

Fox stock jumps after report that Comcast is preparing to battle Disney for megadeal

Shares of Twenty First Century Fox rose nearly three percent on Tuesday after Reuters reported that cable operator Comcast Corp was preparing an all-cash bid to rival a deal agreed late past year with Walt Disney's Co. In fact, the broadcasting conglomerate pushed a more generous deal than Disney. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) takeover would obviously sink the deal between 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co.

Comcast and Fox declined to comment. Indeed, now Comcast is offering 22 billion pounds (about $30 billion) to acquire 61 percent ownership of Sky.

Raising the funds indicates the resolve by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts to do a deal despite rejections from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who controls 21st Century Fox since late 2017.

Last November, Comcast offered to acquire most of Fox's assets in an all-stock deal valued at $34.41 per share, or $64 billion, a regulatory filing showed last month.

Comcast stepped up its push to buy UK-based Sky on Tuesday, keen to prove that it will face fewer regulatory hurdles in its $31 billion pursuit of Sky compared to Fox.

Obama administration regulators also prevented Comcast from buying Time Warner Cable, saying that Comcast could use its increased size to stifle the competition that online video streaming services pose to cable TV.

Reuters reported that Comcast was in the process of asking investment banks to put in place a bridge financing facility valued as much as $60 billion.

For both Comcast and Disney, acquiring the Fox (fox) assets would be a huge boon to the scale, reach, and branding of their business, equipping either company to better compete with increasingly consolidated rivals. This is seeming increasingly unlikely after the Department of Justice has already voiced its disapproval amidst antitrust concerns. Iger is astutely preserving Disney's balance sheet, while Comcast is going all in on the debt option, the way most other dealmakers are lately.

The judge is expected to make a decision by mid-June.

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