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Comcast vows to bid on Fox, dashing nerds' hopes for Marvel crossovers

24 May 2018

Comcast Corp., with a $60 billion war chest, did not provide specific details on a bid on Wednesday.

The largest US cable operator said it was in advanced stages of readying a bid that would be superior to Disney's all-stock offer.

Comcast backed off of its attempts to purchase Fox in December, just before Disney made its $52.4 billion offer. Now Comcast is prepared to swoop in to outbid Disney for assets that include the prolific 20th Century Fox film studio, the independent film company Fox Searchlight, the FX and National Geographic channels, and more.

Like Disney, it wants to buy all of Fox's assets except its news channel and main sports and business networks.

Comcast has not said officially how much it will bid for the Fox assets, but analysts say it could be 15 percent to 25 percent higher than Disney's offer.

The cable giant said that while no final decision has been made, work to finance the offer and preparation to file key regulatory statements is "well advanced". It said this "would be at least as favourable to Fox shareholders" as Disney's offer of $2.5bn.

Comcast shares were down 1.5 percent at $32.01 while Disney was down 0.6 percent at $103.48 in premarket trading.

In a letter to Rupert Murdoch, Hohn revealed an unexpectedly large 7.4% stake in Fox and dismissed regulatory risk that might rise from a Comcast/Fox deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Fox and Disney didn't immediately comment.

However, Comcast formalized a bid for a majority stake last month as a challenge to Fox, leaving Sky's fate uncertain. Comcast said it would offer to buy the same assets after the spinoff of what has been dubbed "New Fox".

There are a lot of movie and TV show properties up for grabs with the 21st Century Fox acquisition. Fox shareholders will vote on the Disney deal later this summer. "In addition, our directors, though, of course are aware of their fiduciary duties on behalf of all shareholders".

"We are committed to our agreement with Disney and are working through the conditions to bring it to a closing", he said. For now, Comcast strictly seems interested in the company's entertainment division.

The government is fighting that merger in court, and its outcome may determine the fate of Comcast's bid.

Comcast vows to bid on Fox, dashing nerds' hopes for Marvel crossovers