Last week, Comcast confirmed their plan to make an all-cash offer for 21st Century Fox. Now, according to a new report, Disney is lining up financing to battle back.
According to CNBC, Disney is prepared to offer significant cash if needed to seal the Fox deal. Disney and Fox have been in agreement on a $53.4 billion bid to purchase Fox's movie studio and other significant assets, but Comcast's all-cash offer for some of those assets could put a wrench into those plans.
How Disney's plan counter would work depends on a lot of variables. Currently, Disney's deal for Fox consists of all stock. With Comcast's offer being all-cash and anticipated to top Disney's all-stock offer, Disney could add cash on top if its existing bid or, alternatively, mix up the composition of the current bid to include both stock and cash.
What Disney does also depends on the offer from Comcast. Comcast's all-cash bid itself is still in the consideration and preparation phase. Comcast said last week that no final decision had been made about the offer but noted it would be as good as Disney's offer at a minimum.
"Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney," Comcast said last week. "The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast, including with respect to both the spin-off of 'New Fox' and the regulatory risk provisions and the related termination fee, would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer."
While Comcast hasn't put a formal price to its offer, news that Disney is planning a counter lines up with Wall Street expectation that Disney and Comcast will end up in a bidding war for the Fox assets, one that analyst Michael Nathanson told Variety Disney won't readily walk away from.
"I don't think there's a break point for these guys to walk away." He said.
The potential Disney-Fox merger has been of particular interest to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a merger between Fox and Disney -- the parent company of Marvel Studios -- would see the rights to live-action movies and television for teams such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four finally come back under the same umbrella as that of the Avengers, opening the door for seemingly limitless opportunities to expand the MCU. With the merger saga far from over, fans will want to stay tuned to see which media company comes out on top.