Those Fox assets are all yours, Disney. On Thursday, rival bidder Comcast bowed out of the 21st Century Fox sweepstakes, news which seemed to catch Disney chief Bob Iger by surprise.
David Faber said on Thursday that when he called Iger to talk about the Comcast announcement, the CNBC reporter actually broke the news to the Disney CEO.
Iger replied, “Holy crap,” Faber said.
The head of the Mouse House added that this was an exciting development and that Disney will be working on the regulatory approvals to acquire pretty much everything Fox owns outside of news, sports and the broadcast network (a.k.a. “New Fox”).
For its part, Comcast says it will now focus on buying Sky PLC. Fox (and thus, Future Disney) also has a bid in to purchase the portion of the U.K. media giant that it does not already own — but that offer is currently $2 billion less than Comcast’s $34 billion proposal.
“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the company said in a statement.
Disney and Fox had initially agreed to a $54.2 billion deal in December before Comcast came in with an “unsolicited” offer of $65 billion in June. Disney then sweetened its prior bid to $71.3 billion, which Fox again accepted over Comcast.
“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.