Way back in December of last year Disney announced, in a bold move, that it would be purchasing 21st Century Fox's assets for a Scrooge McDuck-level sum of $52.4 billion. In the time since then, there has been no shortage of speculation about what this means for various properties, studios and the industry as a whole. As with anything where billions of dollars are involved, this deal has been slow moving, and even though it has been announced, it isn't officially official. There are lots of t's to be crossed and i's to be dotted, but the next step is for the companies' respective shareholders to vote on the deal. We now know that those votes are scheduled to take place on July 10th.
The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox have each set shareholder meetings for a little over a month from now where they will all vote on the deal. Should Disney shareholders vote for the deal and Fox shareholders vote to accept it, it becomes official and moves to the next phase. As noted by Deadline, in their respective SEC filings, the boards of both Disney and Fox reportedly recommended to their shareholders that they vote for the deal. Now, lest you think you can start getting super excited about the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in the MCU, there are still other factors at play that can delay this deal or even overthrow it entirely.
As reported on earlier this month, cable giant Comcast is seeking to swoop in and grab the Fox assets from Disney with its own enticing offer. Comcast has yet to make an official offer, but if it does, Fox may postpone or adjourn the shareholder meeting to consider the counter-offer. That counter-offer from Comcast is believed to be in the $60 billion range and, unlike the Disney offer, which is made up of stock, the Comcast offer is expected to be all cash. The cash amount is larger, but it is also subject to a capital-gains tax that would be in the billions. Comcast is believed to be waiting to make a formal offer until after the June 12th ruling in the Department of Justice's case against AT&T's merger with Time Warner.
The results of that trial would presumably give Comcast a better idea of how favorably a similar purchase of Fox's assets by Comcast would be looked upon by the courts. If the judge rules in favor of AT&T on June 12th, Comcast would possibly be emboldened to make an official offer for Fox's assets, but if the judge rules against AT&T, that might not bode well for a Comcast purchase of Fox. Either way, if Fox's shareholders approve a Disney or Comcast purchase, the deal will still need government approval so the dominos on any deal won't all fall for some time. But it is possible that come July 10th, we'll have a much better idea of what the future holds for Fox's assets.
For all the latest on this deal as it develops and what it means for movie fans, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.