Tags: murdoch | tax | fox | comcast

CNBC: Murdoch Tax Bill Could Top $4 Billion in Fox Deal

(Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime)

Friday, 15 June 2018 06:37 PM

The Murdoch family reportedly could end up owing more than $4 billion in taxes if 21st First Century Fox assets are sold in an all-cash deal to Comcast or another buyer.

That could be the largest check ever written to the IRS, CNBC reported, citing tax experts and people familiar with the Murdoch family trusts.

An all-stock deal, like the one proposed by Disney, the deal would be tax-free to the Murdoch family.

Murdoch and the board have said repeatedly that they will act "in the interests of all shareholders."

No one knows “exactly how much the Murdochs would owe since their trusts and personal financials are not disclosed. But tax experts say they see no conventional tax strategy for Murdoch to avoid a 10-figure tax bill if the deal is done with cash,” CNBC explained.

Meanwhile, the board of 21st First Century Fox will weigh Comcast's $65 billion bid to buy most of its film and television assets in a meeting on Wednesday, Variety has confirmed.

The sit-down will take place a week after Comcast threw a wrench in the Walt Disney Company's plans to purchase the bulk of Fox in a deal valued at $52.4 billion. Comcast had previously tried to buy Fox's film and television assets, a collection of brands and labels that includes 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting, and FX. However, its offer was rejected over regulatory concerns.

The Fox meeting had been pre-set before Comcast entered its spoiler bid, but recent events mean it will be topic number one at the gathering.

A recent court decision rejecting anti-trust claims and paving the way for AT&T to buy Time Warner has emboldened Comcast to make another run at Fox. At the very least, the media company hopes to drive the price up and force Disney, a chief competitor, to pay more for its prize.

Disney will have an opportunity to sweeten its own offer. As part of its deal with Fox, Disney has the right to make a new bid, and will be given five days to submit a new proposal. That goes into effect after the Fox board formally decides whether or not Comcast's offer is superior to Disney's bid.

A deal for Fox's film and television holdings is potentially transformative. Comcast projected that the combined companies would produce $130 billion in revenue and $40 billion of EBITDA on a pro-forma basis. Those kind of sales would enable the company to tower over media competitors, while giving them more resources to stave off digital challengers such as Netflix and Amazon, who are intent on disrupting old forms of viewing content.

A spokesperson from Fox declined to comment. Bloomberg first reported the date of the meeting.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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The Murdoch family reportedly could end up owing more than $4 billion in taxes if 21st First Century Fox assets are sold in an all-cash deal to Comcast or another buyer.
murdoch, tax, fox, comcast
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2018-37-15
Friday, 15 June 2018 06:37 PM
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