A deal between Walt Disney Co. and 20th Century Fox is reportedly on the cards to be sealed and announced Thursday. According to a number of reports from media outlets, including CNBC and Bloomberg, Walt Disney Co. is on track to secure a large piece of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox business.
Both shares ended the US trading day in the green, Tuesday. Disney shares rose 0.6% to $107.43, while 20th Century Fox shares gained 1.31% to close at $34.10.
As of Monday, Comcast, who was previously in talks with Fox, is no longer in the running to acquire any part of Fox. That’s likely because sources suggest Murdoch would prefer a deal involving Disney shares.
What could the deal entail?
While current reports are based on details gained from ‘sources’, those reports suggest Disney could acquire the following Fox assets:
- The 20th Century Fox film studio.
- Sky and Star satellite broadcasters in the UK, Europe and Asia.
- FX and National Geographic networks.
- Fox’s stake in streaming service Hulu.
Bloomberg reports that Fox would keep Fox news, Fox broadcast networks and Fox sports 1.
Few details on the financial side are currently available. However, it is likely to be result in Murdoch gaining a stake in Disney, possibly up to 25%. In addition, James Murdoch is expected to secure a senior position at Walt Disney co., once the deal closes.
Comcast confirms withdrawal
While it appears talks between Disney and Fox are progressing well, Comcast confirmed its withdrawal from discussions with Fox, earlier this week.
The cable provider issued a statement on the talks, Monday.
“When a set of assets like Fox’s becomes available, it is our responsibility to evaluate if there is a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders,” Comcast said.
“That is what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer,” the statement added.