Comcast Corp. may be considering putting in a bid for Fox assets that would top Disney’s bid, CNBC reports, citing sources who are familiar with the matter.
“No decision has been made by Comcast on a topping bid yet, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision is private,” CNBC reports. “Disney is already preparing itself for a Comcast topping bid and considering responses in case, according to multiple people familiar with Disney’s thinking.”
The report notes that Comcast is the owner of CNBC.
“An unsolicited offer at a premium to Disney’s bid could persuade enough Fox shareholders to vote against [Rupert] Murdoch,” CNBC notes. “His family controls 39 percent of Fox’s Class B voting shares but owns only 17 percent of all outstanding shares. Comcast executives suggested to Murdoch last year they would be willing to pay significantly more for Fox’s assets than what Disney was offering, said the people. Murdoch still went with the Disney offer, in large part due to regulatory concerns with Comcast.”
The report adds: “Fox’s international businesses are of particular interest to Comcast, which sees more potential growth outside of the U.S. than it does domestically. Spokeswomen for Comcast and Fox declined to comment.”
During Comcast’s earnings call on Jan. 24, CEO Brian Roberts said: “Many of our peers are re-evaluating their strategies. So along the way, there may be opportunities for us to create more value for our shareholders, like we did with NBCUniversal. In this respect, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we study every situation that comes along.”