Report: Comcast Is Preparing a $60 Billion Cash Bid for Fox

The telecomm giant isn’t backing down and could possibly derail the Fox-Walt Disney agreement that’s already in motion.

Philadelphia, United States – June 11, 2013: Comcast Center building on June 11, 2013 in Philadelphia. As of 2012 the 297m tall skyscraper is the tallest building in Philadelphia and 15th tallest in the US. iStock | tupungato

Though Walt Disney Co. is already first in line to acquire part of 21st Century Fox, Comcast could potentially derail the arrangement by offering Fox a $60 billion all-cash offer. Comcast has been persistent and aggressive in its interest to acquire Fox’s assets, but the company will only proceed with the all-cash bid if a judge approves AT&T’s $85 billion plan to acquire Time Warner, according to a Reuters report.

If Comcast struck a deal with Fox, the telecomm giant would hit a media jackpot, acquiring Fox’s film, television and international businesses, giving the company a hefty portfolio to rival rising platforms like Netflix. Big-name franchises like Deadpool, The Simpson, and X-Men and Avatar would all belong to Comcast.

But here’s the catch: Fox already snubbed Comcast when it denied the company’s initial offer and agreed to sell its assets to Walt Disney for $52 billion all-stock, a price lower than what Comcast put on the table.

Comcast offered to acquire Fox’s assets in an all-stock deal worth $64 billion, but likely for fear of anti-trust roadblocks, Fox went with Disney. If the federal judge in the AT&T-Time Warner anti-trust trial approves the merger, Comcast might be less likely to face regulatory hurdles in a deal with Fox.

So will Comcast get Fox to turn on Disney?

Regulatory concerns aside, Fox last month viewed Disney’s stock as “more valuable than Comcast’s, based on historic prices, and felt that a deal between Disney and Fox would generate greater long-term value,” says Reuters.

And other sources told the publication that Murdoch prefers to be paid in stock rather than cash for Fox assets, because the deal would be non-taxable for shareholders.

The judge is expected to deliver a decision on the AT&T-Time Warner deal in June, a ruling that determines Comcast’s next move.

Comcast didn’t immediately respond to Philadelphia magazine’s request for comment.