Disney to ramp up Fox bid with cash in effort to stave off Comcast: report

Contributed by
Nov 11, 2019, 1:51 PM EST (Updated)

Comcast’s (parent company of NBC Universal, which owns SYFY WIRE) monumental all-cash bid last week drew much speculation and curiosity, especially from those wondering if a successful deal would bar Fox properties like the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, from every sharing the screen with Disney owned Avengers and other heroes. 

But Disney is reportedly prepping a counter-offer aimed at locking in the already-massive deal it made to acquire Fox late last year.

CNBC reports that Disney is expected to add, for the first time, a cash payout on top of its standing all-stock offer of $52.4 billion for ownership of the bulk of 21st Century Fox. The cash amount Disney could throw at its existing deal so far has not been disclosed, but it would take $12.6 billion in additional money just to match Comcast, dollar-for-dollar, on its $65 billion play for a similarly-tailored package of Fox assets last week.

Citing unnamed sources, CNBC said its information came from people who “spoke days after CNBC parent Comcast launched a $65 billion cash bid for the assets, which include Fox's movie studios, networks National Geographic and FX, Star TV, stakes in Sky, Endemol Shine Group and Hulu as well as regional sports networks.”

The board of directors at 21st Century Fox already had planned to meet Wednesday to weigh Comcast’s offer, Variety reports, adding that part of the original Disney deal allows the Mouse House “to make a new bid, and…be given five days to submit a new proposal. That goes into effect after the Fox board formally decides whether or not Comcast’s offer is superior to Disney’s bid.”

The company’s holdings have reportedly grown in value since striking the all-stock agreement with Disney last December.