×

Billionaire hedge fund titan: 'The gates are wide open' for more mergers after AT&T ruling

  • York Capital Management founder Jamie Dinan expects a wave of mergers now that a federal judge has ruled the AT&T-Time Warner deal can move forward.
  • "The gates are wide open" for new deals as well as the closure of existing ones, he says.
  • "We're back to the rules that we thought we had," says Dinan.

York Capital Management founder Jamie Dinan expects a wave of mergers now that a federal judge has ruled the AT&T-Time Warner deal can move forward.

"There's lots of health-care deals, for example, as well as media deals that were basically either on hold or up in the air. People were very nervous," the billionaire investor told CNBC's Leslie Picker on Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon said Tuesday that AT&T's $85.4 billion dealto buy Time Warner was legal. The transaction would give A&T, the nation's No. 2 wireless carrier and owner of satellite TV provider DirecTV, possession of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros.

The merger is considered a vertical one, which means AT&T's holdings don't directly compete with any of Time Warner's content businesses. And there hasn't been a successful challenge of a vertical merger in 35 years, noted Dinan, whose hedge fund looks for opportunities in mergers and acquisitions. York Capital Management has about $18 billion of assets under management.

"The gates are wide open for more deals [and] for the closure of these existing deals," he said on "Power Lunch."

Namely, CVS Health's $69 billion deal with Aetna should move ahead, as well as the one between Express Scripts and Cigna, Dinan said.

And of course, Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC, threw its hat into the ring with Twenty-First Century Fox. On Wednesday, Comcast announced a $65 billion all-cash bid for Fox assets currently in an agreement to be acquired by Disney.

"We're back to the rules that we thought we had. That's good. Uncertainty is not good," said Dinan.

Disclaimer