James Murdoch Won't Move to Disney if Fox Deal Closes


If the deal closes, Murdoch could be the odd man out, as reports suggest that his older brother Lachlan and his father Rupert are expected to remain with what's now being called New Fox, consisting of Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the Fox broadcast network.

Sky might not be the limit for Comcast Corp., which is mulling another bid for 21st Century Fox assets, a move that could upend the Walt Disney Co.'s efforts to buy much of Fox from Rupert Murdoch.

Reuters earlier reported that Comcast was asking banks to arrange financing that would give it the ability to pursue an all-cash bid for the Fox assets.

The notion of James Murdoch having a possible role at Disney wasn't a factor in Fox's final decision to opt for Disney's offer over Comcast's, according to people familiar with Fox's thinking. Comcast's potential $60 Billion bid beats the $52 Billion bid already offered by The Walt Disney Company. Disney is already on the road to directly selling elevision and film products to consumers, regardless of the 21st Century Fox deal.

21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal-parent News Corp share common ownership.

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Comcast has previously tried to disrupt the Disney / 21st Century Fox by making a bid for Sky, a pan-European media and telecommunications company that 21st Century Fox owns 39.14% controlling stake in.

The assets Comcast and Disney are seeking to purchase include the Twentieth Century Fox TV and film studio, cable networks and worldwide properties including Fox's 39% stake in European pay TV operator Sky PLC. These two businessmen do not like each other.

John Nallen, now the chief financial officer of 21st Century Fox, is expected to become the chief operating officer of the so-called New Fox, the people said. A similar deal underway involving Time Warner and AT&T is now under deliberation by the United States government. Comcast believes in the judge's favorable ruling and are planning ahead by approaching investment banks in anticipation of that judgement.

Comcast and Fox declined to comment.