It’s almost over. Comcast has confirmed reports from earlier this week that the company will not bid again on 21st Century Fox. This means Disney’s $71.3B bid is now unopposed as shareholders get ready to vote on July 27.
Comcast issued a statement this morning, confirming their withdrawal from the bidding war.
“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts congratulated Disney and Fox on their deal.
“I’d like to congratulate [chairman and CEO] Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company.”
The path is clear for most of 21st Century Fox, including Fox’s movie studio and the movie rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four, to go to Disney. Comcast continuing their pursuit of the 61% stake in Sky that Fox does not already own, however, does throw a bit of a wrench into Disney’s plans.
Though the $71.3B bid includes the 39% share of Sky that Fox already owns, the idea was that Disney would buy the remaining 61% of Sky if and when Fox completed their purchase of it. If Comcast outbids Fox for that majority share, they will have controlling interest of Sky.
Comcast currently has the highest bid for Sky. Disney and Fox are expected to wait until after the shareholder vote before deciding what to do about Sky, as Fox cannot increase their bid without Disney’s approval.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter