Fox Shareholder Sues to Stop Disney Merger

12 July, 2018, 04:40 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Currently Comcast’s $29 billion bid has been accepted by U.K. regulators without conditions

Just when you thought Disney had wrapped things up with its huge $71.3 billion bid for 20th Century Fox, The Hollywood Reporter brings word of another speedbump.

Sky's independent committee said Wednesday Fox's new bid "represents a substantial increase in value relative to the Comcast offer", and it will "unanimously recommend" the offer to Sky shareholders, according to the Financial Times.

Comcast believes finding such partners will not only allow it to argue that it can win antitrust approval for the Fox assets as easily as Disney, but will also boost its finances as its prepares to make a second all-cash offer later this month, the sources said.

Fox's new bid values the whole of Sky at £24.5 billion, beating an offer of £22 billion from United States (US) cable giant Comcast for the satellite TV group. Subscribe today and listen on the go!

Fox could face further competition from USA cable giant Comcast however, after it forced Sky's independent directors to drop their previous backing for Fox with an unexpected 12.50 pounds per share bid for the group in February.

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Only this time, it's not Comcast standing in the Mouse House's way, but a shareholder named Robert Weiss, who recently filed a lawsuit to stop the historic Disney-Fox merger.

"They're way behind the curve still", said Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management LLP, which owns shares of Sky. The European pay-TV company has become a pawn in a wider contest between Comcast and Walt Disney (dis) for the bulk of Murdoch's media empire, as each seeks scale to take on streaming competitors like Netflix.

"It's too low", Odey, a former son-in-law of Murdoch whose eponymous hedge fund is a Sky shareholder, said of the sweetened Fox offer.

Disney will have 90 days following the acquisition to sell off Fox's Sports Regional Networks, but is pleased to reveal that "the transaction will not harm competition, and that we were able to resolve the limited potential concerns to position us to move forward with this exciting opportunity that will enable us to create even more compelling consumer experiences".

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