Disney Seen Adding Cash To Fox Bid; Pivotal Fears Comcast Bidding War

Marvel  Disney

Marvel Disney

Hancock also said that if Disney buys Sky News it must commit to operate and maintain the news unit for at least 15 years.

That is up from the 10-year funding guarantee it had offered previously. "[Sky News will] be able to operate as a major UK-based news provider and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence".

The battle for Fox's assets includes its movie and TV studios, certain TV networks such as FX and National Geographic, Fox's regional sports networks, certain worldwide properties, as well as Fox's current stake in Sky and Hulu.

"Following the successful conclusion of these discussions and the resolution of these issues, I am today publishing updated undertakings offered by 21CF along with new undertakings offered by Disney for the divestment of Sky News to Disney", he said.

Hancock will now consult formally with all parties for 15 days and views are sought by 5pm on Wednesday 4 July 2018.

This isn't the first offer from Comcast. But, Fox has been told it must sell off Sky News or have its bid blocked under public interest concerns.

Fox, which is already Sky's biggest shareholder with a 39.1% stake, first tabled a proposal in December 2016 to buy the remainder of the broadcaster for £11.7bn in a deal valuing the whole of Sky at £18.5bn.

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In the meantime, Comcast has emerged as a rival buyer for Sky, tabling a £22.1bn takeover bid.

Under the proposed plans, Sky News would receive guaranteed funding of £100 million ($132 million) a year.

Now, in a funding commitment without precedent in the United Kingdom media industry, it is effectively agreeing to pump at least £1.5bn into the news provider for the next 15 years.

Earlier, Disney reached an agreement with Fox to buy the assets for $52.4 billion in stock, and that bid has gained in value to about $55.5 billion.CNBC has reported the company was willing to add cash if needed to win the bidding.

Sky said this afternoon that it welcomed Mr Hancock's statement.

In the wake of Comcast (CMCSA) making a higher, all-cash bid for 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS) is expected to add cash to its offer for the entertainment conglomerate, according to CNBC.

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