Comcast Is Preparing a $60 Billion Cash Bid for 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

Disney's $52.4 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets - which includes 20th Century Fox Movie and Television Studio, Fox regional sports networks, Sky, Fox Networks Group global cable channels, domestic cable channels, and 21st Century Fox's 30% stake in Hulu - now awaits approval from regulators.

Citing three unspecified sources "familiar with the matter", the news agency reports that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts sees an opening if USA federal courts approve AT&T's $85b acquisition of Time Warner to go forward - a ruling is expected on that matter in June.

If the judge agrees to allow AT&T to acquire Time Warner, some thing Comcast could make a hostile bid for Fox assets because it would be more likely that a Comcast/Fox deal would be approved by regulators.

Disney has already had an offer of $52 billion in stock options accepted by Fox.

Comcast declined on Tuesday morning to comment. A trial over the deal in Washington - which included the testimony of two Comcast officials - recently concluded.

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Some analysts believe Comcast would have to suspend its share buyback program entirely if it was able to snatch Fox from Disney's jaws, although its dividend appears safe for now.

This funding could be up to an additional $60 billion USD on top of the $30 billion USD Comcast has already offered for a majority stake in European pay-TV group Sky Plc.

Comcast successfully convinced USA regulators to let it buy NBCUniversal in 2011 and has since turned that company's film, TV and theme park business into major revenue earners.

Last November, it actually offered to acquire most of Fox's assets in an all-stock deal valued at $34.41 per share, or $64 billion.

Reuters cited three anonymous sources as saying Comcast has asked for an increase in its bridge financing facility. Any such deal would also see Comcast acquire 100 per cent of Sky. The other 39% of Sky is owned by Fox, which is keen to take control of the entire business. A final decision on the takeover, which has attracted antitrust concerns, is expected in June.

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