Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) offered a $65 billion all-cash bid to acquire majority of the Murdoch’s family Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA), topping Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) offer of $52.4 billion.
Comcast’s proposal comes a day after a federal judge granted approval of AT&T’s (NYSE: T) acquisition of Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). Sources previously released information that Comcast would bid for Disney if the AT&T and Time Warner merger was approved.
Comcast’s new proposal offers Fox shareholders $35.00 per share in cash and 100 percent of the shares of New Fox after giving effect to its proposed spinoff, in which the company calls a “superior and more certain value” compared to Disney’s. The bid represents a premium of 19 percent to Disney’s bid as of noon on Wednesday.
The underlying issue that revolved with the AT&T Time Warner merger was getting regulatory approvals from officials, which the two ultimately did. The merger was under scrutiny by the Trump administration, as it said it would create a media monopoly by offering consumers less options.
Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts says receiving regulatory approval will be no problem if Fox accepts the proposal and that the company has a better chance than Disney.
“We are also highly confident that our proposed transaction will obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner and that our transaction is as or more likely to receive regulatory approval than the Disney transaction.” said Roberts in a statement.
Although most consumers in the media industry have been turning to online streaming services such as Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), the fight for Fox would still position either Comcast or Disney on top with highly valuable assets.
The winner of the bidding will acquire top Fox assets such as Fox’s movie studio, which has produced top hit movies such as “Deadpool”, “Avatar” and the “X-Men” franchise. Other assets include cable channels such as Fox’s sports channels, FX and National Geographic and even U.K. news broadcast station Sky, according to CNN.
The deal would also give the winner the majority stake in Hulu, another major online streaming service, but sources familiar with the matter told CNNMoney that it would have to decline Fox’s stake in Hulu to satisfy regulators.
Comcast also agreed to pay a backup fee of $1.5 billion if Disney backs out of the deal.