Disney and Comcast May Split Fox Assets

Disney's bid to buy 21st Century Fox's assets is in jeopardy with Comcast making an all-cash bid for Fox today, but as a likely bidding war breaks out between the two media giants one analyst thinks that there might be another resolution to this on-going saga.

Barton Crockett, an analyst for capital market company B. Riley FBR said in a note to clients today (via CNBC) that it's possible that Comcast and Disney will end up splitting Fox's assets.

"We would expect Disney to at least match Comcast by adding cash, and Comcast to appease [Rupert] Murdoch's tax concerns by offering stock, and some back and forth raising the deal bid," Crockett wrote. "Barring a third entrant (internet/tech is possible), we would see the most sensible outcome as splitting the baby, with Comcast getting Sky (which we see as its main goal) and Disney getting most of the rest."

So why would Comcast be more interested in Sky, which is a European pay TV company than most of the rest of Fox's assets? It's a matter of expanding international reach. Fox presently owns a 39 percent stake in Sky and had previously made a bid for the remaining 61 percent. Comcast topped Fox with a $31 billion bid for that 61 percent. If Comcast were to seal a deal with Fox now, that would give them the total control of Sky, expanding Comcast's international reach.

Comcast is also said to be interested in the 20th Century Fox film studio, which would allow them to compete better with Disney's movie production on a global scale. If Comcast is able to get those things that they want, they may be inclined to negotiate with Disney over the Marvel assets, creating a variation of an "everyone wins" situation.


However, fans keeping track of this ongoing business battle shouldn't hold their breaths for that kind of outcome just yet. Even though Comcast has come in with an impressive all-cash bid, Disney isn't likely to take this lying down. Disney has been said to have been lining up financing so that it could counter Comcast with a new offer of its own, one that would likely be some combination of cash and stock. As Murdoch has been said to be looking to do business with the side who makes the best deal, an offer of cash and stock would be very tempting and might just be enough to for Disney to win the day.

Keep checking back with ComicBook.com for the latest updates on the Disney-Fox-Comcast situation.