The battle for Fox's assets is heating up. Disney and 21st Century Fox entered into a purchase agreement for those assets in December of last year, but things got quite a bit more complicated recently when Comcast put in a far richer, unsolicited bid for the very same assets. Now, it appears as though there is going to be something of a bidding war between the two companies, as the Mouse House is reportedly set to sweeten their offer with a little bit (a lot bit) of cash.
Disney's original offer for Fox's assets was valued at $52.4 billion. That offer, which 21st Century Fox agreed to, was to purchase all of the movie studio 20th Century Fox, which comes with the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool franchises, Fox's stake in Hulu, their stake in international broadcaster Sky, a host of regional sports networks, National Geographic and FX. Now, according to a new report, Disney is prepared to add some cash on top of their current offer, which is all in stock.
While no specific dollar amount has been disclosed, Disney would likely have to offer at least a few billion dollars in order to fend off Comcast, who offered $65 billion, all in cash, last week to Fox. That represents a 19 percent higher offer, which may be too much for Fox to ignore. But analysts have suggested that Fox would actually prefer a stock offer, so Comcast's higher offer may not be as irresistible as it initially seemed. Not only that, but they are already more than six months into the process of their agreement with Disney. Should they bail out of the deal, Fox will have to pay Disney a several billion dollar penalty and start over completely.
Comcast's offer came on the heels of the recent ruling in a federal court that will allow for the AT&T merger with Time Warner to move forward. This ruling gave Comcast the confidence it needed, as regulators will now be much more likely to approve their purchase of Fox, given the precedent. Comcast was originally in the running to purchase Fox's assets, but the company went with Disney, feeling that they were the best suitor.
Fox's board will reportedly meet this Wednesday to discuss Comcast's bid, so we may be learning some more details later this week. While there are a lot of things on the table, like the changing of the media landscape as we know it, many fanboys and fangirls, on the surface, are concerned with Marvel Studios getting the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Even if Comcast wins the bid, it's been reported that Disney and Comcast may ultimately divide up the assets. So that could still happen even if Comcast sneaks in and scoops up Sky and some of the other assets. Either way, Disney isn't ready to just walk away in defeat just yet. This news comes to us courtesy of CNBC.