Comcast preparing counter offer for Fox assets

Comcast is preparing a takeover bid for a significant share of rival US media company 21st Century Fox’s business assets, challenging a deal struck in December between the latter and media giant Walt Disney.

According to the Reuters news agency, Comcast has asked invested banks to increase a bridge financing facility by up to $60bn (€50bn) in order to make an all-cash offer for the assets that Fox agreed to sell to Walt Disney for $52bn six months ago.

The deal agreed by Disney was set to lead ultimately to the company securing control of Sky, a major sports broadcaster in Europe, and media company Star India, among other assets.

However, Reuters added that Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts only plans to press ahead with the bid if telco AT&T’s $85bn takeover of media company Time Warner is allowed to proceed, with the US Department of Justice having opposed the deal due to antitrust concerns. A US District Court is due to make a decision in June.

Comcast has also made a $30bn offer to acquire the 61 per cent of Sky that Fox does not own, attempting to gazump an earlier offer by Fox to seize complete control of the broadcaster.