Time is working brief for Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts.
Now date is ready for shareholders of 21st Century Fox to vote on Walt Disney Co.’s $71.three billion provide for its leisure belongings, all eyes are on what Roberts will do subsequent. Fox’s particular shareholder assembly is scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 27 on the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan, Disney mentioned in a regulatory submitting, including that its shareholders will even take into account the transaction.
Disney gained antitrust approval for its deal from the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday, giving it one other edge over Comcast, which can be vying for the belongings. The Fox board final week accepted Disney’s sweetened bid for a trove of media properties starting from “The Simpsons” to “X-Men,” favoring its provide over Comcast’s curiosity for a second time.
Fox’s controlling shareholders, Rupert Murdoch and his household, can solely vote their 17 % financial curiosity in a takeover vote as a result of Class A and B shareholders every have the identical voting energy.
Fox first agreed in December to promote the belongings to Disney in a $52.four billion transaction, overlooking Comcast’s curiosity primarily due to considerations the cable tv firm would have larger issue acquiring regulatory approval. Comcast countered with a $65 billion, all-cash provide this month earlier than Disney sweetened its proposal to embrace money and inventory.
The energy of Disney’s forex and its smoother regulatory path make it “relatively easy” for Fox’s board to want a Disney bid “without risking compromise of their fiduciary obligation to shareholders,” analysts at MoffettNathanson mentioned final week. “A Comcast bid for Fox carries far more regulatory risk than does a bid from Disney,” they mentioned.
Roberts has mentioned he expects the Justice Department to overview his proposed takeover plan on the identical velocity at which it dominated on Disney’s deal. And as a result of Comcast has much less of a presence outdoors the U.S., the corporate expects it will possibly get worldwide clearance simply. It additionally shouldn’t want a overview by the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast has mentioned.