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Comcast preparing announce bid for Fox on Wednesday if AT&T-Time Warner is approved, sources say

Alex Sherman
  • Comcast will formalize its all-cash bid for Fox's assets on Wednesday if AT&T's bid for Time Warner is approved, sources say.
  • Comcast executives think Disney's stock will fall if AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner is approved because Disney will have to prepare for a bidding war.
  • Comcast has already acknowledged it is in advanced stages of preparing an all-cash rival bid.

Comcast will formalize its all-cash offer to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA on Wednesday if U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon approves AT&T T 's deal for Time Warner TWX tomorrow, according to people familiar with matter.

Comcast CMCSA , which owns CNBC parent company NBCUniversal, has already publicly acknowledged its plans to compete with Disney DIS on an acquisition for Fox assets, including Fox's movie studio, the Nat Geo and FX Networks, regional sports channels and stakes in Hulu, Star India and Sky Plc. CNBC reported last month Comcast was preparing to raise $60 billion on a deal for Fox while simultaneously pursuing a $31 billion offer for the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own.

Announcing an offer on Wednesday, rather than Tuesday afternoon, will allow Comcast's lawyers to look through the details of Judge Leon's decision, the people said. Comcast advisers and executives believe Comcast's rival bid for Fox will put pressure on Disney's shares, as Disney may to have raise its outstanding $52 billion all-stock offer. Waiting until Wednesday, if Disney shares fall, could also accentuate the difference in value between Comcast's bid and Disney's offer, one of the people said.

Disney's hasn't said if it will improve its bid for Fox. A Comcast spokeswoman declined to comment.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

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