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Comcast Seeks $60B Loan for New Fox Bid – Report

Iain Morris

US cable giant Comcast is reportedly seeking a loan of up to $60 billion to support a cash bid for media properties that 21st Century Fox has already said it will sell to Walt Disney Co for a fee of $52 billion. (See Disney Buys Fox for $52.4B.)

The cable operator has asked investment banks to increase its financing facilities, according to a report from Reuters that cites sources close to the matter, but will only go ahead with its bid if authorities allow AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) to acquire Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) in an $85 billion deal. (See DOJ Makes Last Stand Against AT&T.)

Any Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) takeover would obviously sink the deal between 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), which in December said it would take control of Fox's film, TV and international businesses in an all-stock transaction.

Further complicating the picture is a £22 billion bid that Comcast has made to acquire a 61% stake in UK pay-TV company Sky . The other 39% of Sky is owned by Fox, which is keen to take control of the entire business. (See Why Sky's the Limit for Comcast and Comcast Bids $31B to Steal Sky From Fox, Disney.)

Comcast was reported to have made a $64 billion offer for Fox assets last November, but Fox accepted the lower bid from Disney, arguing in filings that regulation would be a potential barrier to any deal with Comcast.

For more fixed broadband market coverage and insights, check out our dedicated broadband content channel here on Light Reading.

As Reuters reports, the value of the latest Comcast bid for assets owned by Fox is unclear, but the $60 billion financing facility would give it ammunition to outbid Disney.

The latest move shows how AT&T's controversial bid for Time Warner, which owns media properties including Warner Bros and HBO, has rattled telecom and media competitors such as Comcast, which are worried AT&T would become a dominant market force if allowed to acquire Time Warner.

— Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

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5/19/2018 | 7:01:36 PM
New Deal?
Some in the financial press are suggesting that the bid may not be Comcast's true end game, but instead Comcast wants part of Fox, but not necessarily all of the parts in the proposed Disney deal.
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