Last year, The Walt Disney Company announced that they had reached a deal to buy the 21st Century Fox‘s entertainment assets. Fox was to keep their news and sports properties while Disney acquired their movie and television assets. It was a big move for the studio who already has Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm. It also, of course, finally brought the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties back home to Marvel.
But as that initially appeared to be a done deal, Comcast, the company who owns Universal Pictures, made their own interest in making a bid to acquire Fox known. Now Comcast has made an offer to acquire Fox’s entertainment assets for $65 billion, which is significantly higher than Disney’s $52 billion deal. More on the story below.
According to The New York Times, Comcast is making a $65 billion dollar all-cash bid and has offered to pay Fox shareholders $35.00 per share in cash. That sounds tempting when compared to Disney’s deal which is all stock. The $65 billion bid also puts it 19% higher than Disney’s. There are also contractual assurances like a reverse breakup fee just in case the government decides to step in and prevent the deal from happening. Much like how they tried to stop the Time Warner and Warner Bros merger – though that wasn’t as successful.
While Comcast’s bid does sound very appealing, the reason why Fox didn’t take the offer was because they were afraid that the government would reject the deal. But now that Time Warner and WB’s merger is happening, it could give Comcast even more of a reason to push forward with the deal.
Fox shareholders are scheduled to sign off on the Disney deal on July 10, 2018. However, that date could be moved back if they decide to support Comcast’s offer. In which case, Disney will have five days to respond with their own counter offer.
It should be interesting to see what the result of all of this will be. While the merger would make either one of the studios larger, there will be a loss of storytelling and jobs. The former means that there will be fewer studios to pitch to. That possibly means no more films like The Shape of Water, which is a film that won under Fox’s indie banner, Fox Searchlight. Job loss seems very likely as well, as Disney and Universal would use their own teams to push films.
Acquiring Fox would also mean that the company would also acquire Hulu. Should Disney win, they would expand their already massive streaming service, which is expected to launch later next year.
We will keep you posted on any new developments should they come in. Until then, it’s all one giant corporate waiting game.
[Source: The New York Times]