Iger Is ‘Confident’ Fox Deal Will Close - Multichannel

Iger Is ‘Confident’ Fox Deal Will Close

Disney chief reminds CNBC that Fox board unanimously approved deal
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With Comcast attempting to disrupt The Walt Disney Co.’s December agreement to buy certain assets of 21st Century Fox, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger told CNBC that he believes his company’s deal will cross the finish line.

Speaking on CNBC’s Closing Bell with host Julia Boorstin, Iger said Disney is in the process of filing the required regulatory documents for the deal.

“We’re certainly excited about that acquisition and we’re going to remain confident that it’s going to go forward,” Iger said.

Disney and Fox announced their deal – valued at $52.5 billion ($66.1 billion including debt) – in December. While Comcast was an earlier bidder for the assets – Fox was said to prefer Disney equity – the cable company is reportedly readying an all-cash offer for the assets.  In April, Comcast also made a formal offer for 100% of U.K. satellite company Sky – of which Fox owns 39% – for $31 billion. Sky’s board of directors said it “welcomed” the Comcast bid and would evaluate it. 

Iger would not speculate about Comcast’s motivation to launch a competing offer – reportedly in the $60 billion range, not including debt assumption – but said he was confident Disney’s deal to purchase the Fox assets would prevail.

"We made a good deal, actually a deal that shareholders reacted quite favorably to and we're going to remain confident in our ability to close," Iger said.

Iger wouldn’t comment on reports that the Comcast deal would be more attractive to Fox shareholders because it is all cash, as opposed to Disney’s all-stock deal.

"They [Fox] obviously believed not only in what we were paying but how we were paying for it," Iger said.

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