Disney CEO Bob Iger: Confident deal with Fox will close

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC on Tuesday that he remains “confident” the deal with Twenty-First Century Fox will move forward.

Disney’s $52 billion bid for Fox was announced in December. On Monday, sources told CNBC that Comcast is planning a $60 billion all-cash bid to acquire Fox’s assets if the U.S. government approves AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

“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 told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin on “Closing Bell.”

When asked specifically about the Comcast plan, Iger said he wouldn’t speculate on what the company may do or why it was doing it. He also wouldn’t comment on Comcast’s intention to offer cash, versus Disney’s payment with stock.

However, Iger pointed out that Disney’s offer received unanimous approval from the Fox board.

“They obviously believed not only in what we were paying but how we were paying for it,” he said.

Furthermore, there is a “strategic fit” with the Fox and Disney assets, which are “quite attractive,” Iger added.

“We believe therefore that that currency will be attractive long term.”

He also wouldn’t concede letting go of Sky to stop a potential bidding war. Fox owns 39 percent of the U.K.-based satellite broadcaster and is currently trying to acquire the rest. Disney will get Fox’s 39 percent holding in its deal.

Comcast also wants buy 100 percent of Sky as a part of an improved all-cash bid for Fox.

“Should Fox be successful in buying that 61 percent, we would step into their shoes and ultimately own 100 percent of it,” Iger said of Sky.

“But under any circumstance if they don’t, we will own the 39 percent that we’ll be buying as part of the acquisition and we fully intend to hold onto that.”

While Iger said he talks to Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch on a “fairly regular basis about a number things, including about Sky,” he would not go into details.

Meanwhile, things are moving forward on the regulatory front. Disney is currently filing in multiple jurisdictions around the world, including the U.S. and the EU.

Iger said doesn’t anticipate problems and noted that this deal is “quite different” than the AT&T-Time Warner transaction that is currently under scrutiny.

And that confidence he referenced earlier is not only “in the ability in us to convince the Fox shareholders that this is good for them but we are also confident in our ability to gain the regulatory approval that we’ll need in all of these jurisdictions.”

Disney reported fiscal second-quarter revenue after the bell Tuesday that beat expectations, with its studios seeing $2.45 billion in revenue for the period compared with $21.9 billion expected by analysts.

Source: CNBC.COM

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