— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on June 21, 2018, Thursday.
That’s right. It’s the acquisition war between 2 giants. This finger who is on the right wall is Disney CEO Iger and the one on the left is Roberts, CEO of US television giant and CNBC’s parent company: Comcast. Currently, acquisition quatation from Comcast is $65B in cash, which is the latest quotation on 15th June. But in the overnight, Disney made no concession, increasing its quotation to $71.3B in cash and will bid for Fox’s stock. Additionally, the other conditions are similar; for example, promise $2.5B “breakup fee”, and they both agree split off regional sports channel under Fox after acquisition. So we will pay attention to if Comcast will increase its quotation further more.
However, whatever Comcast lift its quotation, Fox has already been the winner. At present, Disney’s quotation is 36% greater than $52.4B, the 1st bid in Dec last year. Actually, it is believed that Disney and Comcast have different intention regarding bidding for 21st century fox such severely. For Comcast, it needs to scale overseas market, especially the Europe and India, when the US traditional television business is in downswing. While the reason why Disney wants to acquire Fox entertainment asset is Disney seems want to buffer the shock from Netflix and other online content producer. Movie series under Fox can enrich Disney’s content library, strengthening itself to compete with stream media in the future, such as Netflix.
What are the differences of these 2 giants to Fox? Indeed, the one with higher bid would be the winner, but some analysts think that, the entertainment content of Disney is more close to that of Fox, so there is a smaller judicial risk in trading. But if Disney trades with Comcast, then it’s less likely to be approved by U.S. Department of Justice. However, Comcast’s latest increased quotation came after the U.S. court approved the merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The market thinks that this merger breaks US antitrust regulatory barrier and warms up the optimistic sentiment that Comcast and Disney acquire Fox.
[Brian Lesser] "What they are doing and what they are purchasing just reinforces the play we are running. We think we are on the right path, we want to get there first. So I'll leave them go fight their own battles, let them fight to get the price for Fox, we are gonna excute our play, that's behind us now, we are about excution."
The market also reflects positively to the increased quotation from these 2 giants. 21st Century Fox’s stock priced hiked significantly, with 7.54% rise in the intraday trading during the overnight, and continued a 1.27% increase in the after-hours session.
Disney’s stock price edged up around 1%, while that for Comcast rose 1.77%.
Next, we must pay attention to the actions from Comcast. Fox's Board of Directors was originally scheduled to hold a shareholders’ meeting on July 10, voting on Disney's acquisition, however, yesterday, Fox announced to postpone this meeting, and this decision will give Comcast more time to improve their acquisition conditions, and then continue to compete for Fox. We will keep an eye on this issue.