CNBC: Disney Lining Up Banks for Fox Deal

The Walt Disney Co. is reportedly lining up banks to provide a substantial cash boost to its offer for 21st Century Fox assets it previously agreed to purchase, in an effort to best any competing bids from Comcast, CNBC’s David Faber said Tuesday (May 29).

Citing sources familiar with the company, Faber said on CNBC’s The Faber Report  that Disney is prepared to add “significant cash” to its all-stock bid for the assets, currently valued at about $68 billion.

Comcast made public its intentions for the Fox assets, issuing a formal statement May 23 that is considering an all-cash offer that would be superior to the Disney bid. While Comcast did not specify how big that bid would be, some analysts have speculated it could be as much as $10 billion more than the Disney offer. 

But that bid apparently hinges on the outcome of AT&T’s proposed $108.7 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. That deal, which the U.S. Dept. of Justice sued to block in November, is expected to receive a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon on June 12. If the deal is approved, and most analysts expect it will, Comcast is anticipated to make its offer shortly after.

Fox agreed in December to sell its cable channels FX, FXX, National Geographic; its movie and TV production studios 20 Century Fox, 21 regional sports networks, its 30% interest in Hulu and its 39% interest in British satellite TV company Sky to Disney in a deal valued at $66.1 billion at the time. Fox will keep its broadcast network, as well as its cable channels Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and sports networks FS 1, FS 2 and the Big Ten Network. In April, Comcast made a formal offer for all of Sky for $31 billion. Sky is still evaluating the offer although British regulators said earlier this month they would likely have no difficulty in approving a deal.