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Offbeat Comcast offers to buy Fox media assets for $65 billion in cash

23:31  13 june  2018
23:31  13 june  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Now that AT&T has been cleared to buy Time Warner, here's what happens next

  Now that AT&T has been cleared to buy Time Warner, here's what happens next <p>On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that AT&amp;T could buy Time Warner with no conditions attached, denying a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust challenge to the deal.</p>The DOJ could still appeal, but assuming it doesn't, here's what happens next.

Comcast offers billion to buy Europe's pay-TV giant Sky. The exact value of Comcast ’s new bid for the Fox assets is not yet clear, although the billion in new financing indicates it is seeking significant firepower to outbid Disney.

“If Comcast formalizes a superior all- cash offer , we would support that offer over the current Disney offer ,” TCI founder Christopher Hohn said in the letter. Disney in December offered stock then worth .4 billion to buy Fox ’s film, television and international businesses to beef up its offering against

Comcast offered $65 billion Wednesday for Twenty-First Century Fox media assets, emboldened by AT&T's prevailing over the Trump administration's attempt to block a merger with Time Warner. 

The all-cash offer for Fox's movie and TV studios and other assets including the X-Men franchise, opens a war with Walt Disney Co, which has bid $52 billion in stock.

Comcast is expected to lead a wave of traditional media companies trying to combine distribution and production to compete with Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google. The younger firms produce content, sell it online directly to consumers and often offer lucrative targeted advertising.

Now that AT&T has been cleared to buy Time Warner, here's what happens next

  Now that AT&T has been cleared to buy Time Warner, here's what happens next <p>On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that AT&amp;T could buy Time Warner with no conditions attached, denying a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust challenge to the deal.</p>The DOJ could still appeal, but assuming it doesn't, here's what happens next.

Last November, Comcast offered to acquire most of Fox ’s assets in an all-stock deal valued at .41 per share, or billion , a regulatory filing showed last month. Like Disney, Comcast sought to buy Fox ’s entertainment networks, movie studios, television production and international assets

A major battle of media titans is brewing with reports that Comcast may be working up a deal to push Disney out of the running to buy 21st Century Fox assets . Comcast is in talks with investment banks to set up an all- cash bid of up to billion for 21st Century Fox film and TV businesses

AT&T won a court victory over skeptical U.S. antitrust regulators on Tuesday when a federal judge allowed it to buy Time Warner for $85 billion, which was widely taken as a green light for Comcast to submit its expected bid. 

Comcast may face more difficulty than AT&T and other would-be acquirers, though, since Comcast already has its own TV and movie studios in the NBC Universal division, a content overlap AT&T-Time Warner lacked. 

Justice Department lawyers who tried to stop AT&T's $85 billion deal expect consumers will lose out as bigger companies raise prices, and some lawyers saw that as a concern in a Comcast-Fox deal which would put two movie studios and two major television brands under one roof.

Comcast-Disney fight highlights shifting media landscape

  Comcast-Disney fight highlights shifting media landscape Comcast is making a $65 billion bid for Fox's entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company.&nbsp;A day after a federal judge cleared the way for AT&T's takeover of Time Warner, Comcast made a bold all-cash $65 billion offer for Fox assets, setting up a clash with Disney and becoming the first big media company to attempt what is expected to be a spate of new megamergers.

Disney’s billion all-stock buy out of Fox ’s film, television, and international businesses was announced in December 2017 — one month after Comcast made a higher all-stock offer to buy the same assets .

U.S. media giant Comcast announced a cash offer Tuesday to buy Sky for 22.1 billion pounds ( billion ), raising the stakes for Rupert Murdoch's Fox to take over the pay-TV group. Comcast , which owns NBC and Universal Pictures, said it was offering 12.50 pounds per share.

"One cannot ignore the fact that there's less independent content to go around," after the AT&T deal, said Henry Su, an antitrust expert with Constantine Cannon LLP.

Still, the AT&T court fight gave Comcast valuable information about how to structure a Fox deal, said David Scharf, a litigation expert with Morrison Cohen. 

"Any deal that's coming down the pike that's not baked yet knows the government's playbook. They know what the government is concerned about," he said. "They can learn how to structure a deal to make it more palatable." 

Disney itself has "surgically" structured a transaction that "might be doable," avoiding Fox Broadcasting and big Fox sports channels, U.S. antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said last week.

Comcast may have a tough time winning over Fox's largest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch's family. They own a 17-percent stake and would face a multi-billion dollar capital gains tax bill if he accepted an all-cash offer from Comcast, tax experts have told Reuters.

Craig Moffett, an analyst with MoffettNathanson, said in a research note that Disney could prevail for other reasons.

"Disney has the superior balance sheet, cost of debt, equity and rationale to emerge victorious over Comcast in a bidding war,” Moffett said.

Cramer: The market is saying there's no real loser in Disney and Comcast's battle for Fox assets .
Jim Cramer says the spoils would go to the loser and the winner of Disney and Comcast's brewing bidding war over key Twenty-First Century Fox assets.Fox reportedly called Disney's latest cash-and-stock bid of $71.3 billion, or $38 a share, "superior" to NBCUniversal parent Comcast's latest bid, an all-cash offer valued at $65 billion, or $35 a share.

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