Eager to derail Disney’s pending, stock-based bid ($52.4 billion), this Comcast proposal equates to around $35 per share, and is evidently the superior offer – a quick calculation reveals that it’s around 19 percent higher than that put forward by the Mouse House. Whether the Murdoch empire agrees to the sale, though, largely hinges on the shareholder meeting that’s scheduled to take place on July 10th, when 21st Century Fox’s board of directors will put the pending Disney acquisition to a vote.
Word is Comcast was holding fire until AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner was approved before it made an advance, and based on this report from The New York Times (via The Verge), the U.S. cable giant is “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.”
This formal bid from Comcast will undoubtedly spark a bidding war over Fox’s entertainment assets, and we understand Disney has five days to sweeten its own deal before the tide turns in Comcast’s favor. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the Mouse House is about to wave the white flag; according to analyst Michael Nathanson, “Disney is in a strong position to compete with a higher bid from Comcast.”
July 10th will herald the moment when Fox’s board of directors vote on the proposed Disney deal, and only then will we have a more comprehensive understanding of this historic merger – no matter which way the Fox pendulum swings.