Following a report alleging as much yesterday, Comcast has officially placed a bid for 21st Century Fox, countering Disney’s own effort to acquire the assets. The company doesn’t shy away from calling its offer “superior” to Disney’s, pointing out that it is putting forward straight cash versus Disney’s own all-stock offer. The business decision was reportedly spurred by the recent favorable AT&T – Time Warner merger ruling.
Comcast officially announced the all-cash bid this afternoon, saying it has delivered the offer to 21st Century Fox’s Board of Directors. Comcast directly calls its bid “a superior proposal” in contrast to Disney’s own previous all-stock offer. The company goes on to claim that:
The structure and other terms of Comcast’s proposal, including with respect to the spin-off of “New Fox” and the regulatory risk provisions and related termination fee, are at least as favorable to 21CF shareholders as the Disney offer.
Earlier this week, sources claimed that Comcast was keenly watching the AT&T legal battle with the Justice Department to see whether it would be able to acquire Time Warner. Critics have sharply criticized the merger, but in a surprise ruling, a federal judge found that the Department of Justice had failed to show that such a business deal would harm competition within the market.
Realizing that its own major acquisition would have a chance of getting past regulators, the sources alleged, Comcast scrambled to put together its all-cash bid with an eye on knocking Disney down a peg. That has proven the case this afternoon with Comcast formerly revealing the bid, which it says is, at minimum, just as “favorable” for Fox as Disney’s own offer.