Comcast has backed down from its attempt to acquire 20th Century Fox, clearing the way for Disney to acquire the studio. Comcast and Disney have been bidding back and forth for months in hopes of acquiring nearly all of Fox’s assets minus their news and sports divisions.
In a statement, Comcast expressed:
“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”
(It should be noted that Fox owns 39% of Sky and Disney previously indicated that it would retain those assets should they absorb Fox. Comcast recently upped its bid to $34 billion for the remaining 61%.)
CEO Brian Roberts offered a personal congratulations to Disney and Fox on their merger.
“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company.”
Disney had originally bid $52.4 billion in stocks. Comcast attempted to top that with $65B in cash. Disney then kept their original bid but added $18.9B in cash, for a total of $71.3B. Comcast was rumored to have reached their ceiling but was looking toward outside sources for possible additional revenue.
Shareholders seem pleased that Comcast has backed out. Their stock has risen 3%.
Disney’s Bob Iger issued his own statement:
“Our incredible enthusiasm for this acquisition and the value it will create has continued to grow as we’ve come to know 21st Century Fox’s stellar array of talent and assets. We’re extremely pleased with today’s news, and our focus now is on completing the regulatory process and ultimately moving toward integrating our businesses.”
A lot of the “regulatory process” Iger mentioned has already been smoothed out as the Department of Justice has already okay’d the plan. There is still the formality of Disney and Fox shareholders convening to vote on the acquisition on July 27. The integration process will be long and probably rocky as massive layoffs are expected in order to eliminate redundancies.
But for now, as with Comcast, Disney stock has risen 2%. Fox’s stock has surged during the bidding war but has now dipped 2%. Things aren’t cut and dry with a merger this massive. (In other words, don’t expect the X-Men to suddenly pop up in ‘Avengers 4’.) But for now, things look bright.
Are you glad that it appears that this Disney buyout of Fox appears to be a done-deal at last?