In December, Disney made waves when it announced plans to acquire 21st Century Fox in a deal worth $52 billion, most of which would be paid in stocks. However, the U.S. Congress stepped in, calling for a hearing to ascertain that this merger would not violate anti-monopoly laws. That delay opened the door for other companies to potentially step in and make counter offers for Fox. Just days ago, it was revealed that Comcast might make a $60 billion all-cash play for Fox if AT&T’s buyout of Time Warner was approved.
But Disney CEO Bob Iger isn’t worried. Appearing on CNBC‘s ‘Closing Bell’ he declared:
“I’m not going to speculate at all about what [Comast is] doing or why they’re doing it. I can only say, reiterate that we made a deal in December that received unanimous approval, which is important, by the 21st Century Fox board. We’re in the process of filing what we need to file to gain both regulatory approval and shareholder approval. We’re certainly excited about that acquisition and remain confident that it’s going to go forward.”
“We made a good deal, actually a deal that shareholders reacted quite favorably to and we’re going to remain confident in our ability to close.”
Iger would not comment on Comcast’s plans or motivations but stated that when Disney made their bid, that the board at Fox was universally in agreement.
“They obviously believed not only in what we were paying but how we were paying for it.”
He stressed that Fox was a good fit for Disney’s brand.
In addition to Fox, it is believed that Comcast is seeking to acquire the UK-based satellite provider Sky, of which Fox currently owns 39%. Unless things change, that means that Dinsey would obtain that 39%. Comcast is said to want the whole thing and are willing to pay the same $60 billion cash fee to get the remaining 61%. But complicating that is the fact that Fox, which is currently still independent of Disney, is also looking to buy the remaining 61% of Sky.
“Should Fox be successful in buying that 61 percent, we would step into their shoes and ultimately own 100 percent of it. But under any circumstance if they don’t, we will own the 39 percent that we’ll be buying as part of the acquisition and we fully intend to hold onto that.”
So looks like fans who want to see a Marvel Studios take on the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ are going to have to wait for the dust to settle to see if that is even a possibility. In addition to those two Marvel brands, Fox currently holds the rights to the ‘Alien’, ‘Avatar’, ‘Predator’ and ‘Planet of the Apes’ series and more.