Confirming speculation, Comcast is “considering” a rival bid for 21st Century Fox businesses intended for sale to Walt Disney.
In a statement on Wednesday, the company, which owns NBCUniversal, said: “Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney.”
Comcast says the proposed offer is in “advanced stages.”
In December, Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox agreed to a $52.4 billion deal in which Disney would acquire about half of Fox’s TV-media assets, including its TV/film production company, FX Networks, National Geographic, regional sports channels, 30% interest in Hulu, and international TV networks and interests.
The Comcast deal would include Fox’s 39% stake in European TV company Sky. Separately, Comcast received preliminary consideration from a U.K. government official to pursue an effort to buy Sky for $31 billion.
Analysts estimate that a Comcast bid would be valued at more than $60 billion. The terms of the Disney deal included a $2.5 billion breakup penalty that Fox would have to pay if it backed out.
Fox would retain the Fox Broadcasting Company, its owned TV stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business and national cable sports networks.
Early Wednesday morning trading saw Fox’s stock up 1% to $38.55; Comcast was down 1.7% to $31.96, while Disney slipped 1.4% to $102.60.