Comcast drop Fox assets to pursue Sky offer.
July 19, 2018
Comcast drop Fox assets to pursue Sky offer. On Thursday, Comcast Corp announced that it will drop its pursuit of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., focusing instead on its offer for 61 percent of European pay-TV group Sky Plc, the remainder of which is owned by Fox. Comcast’s withdrawal marks a concession to Fox’s other bidder, Walt Disney Co, who last month offered $71.3 billion to acquire Fox’s assets, capsizing Comcast’s $66 billion dollar bid. While Comcast’s withdrawal de-escalates the confrontation between the two media giants, it still leaves both companies competing over Sky’s remaining 61 percent. Fox and Disney acknowledged last week in a regulatory filing that they may not try to outbid Comcast on Sky, who sits as the highest bidder, with a 14.75 pounds-per share-offer, worth $34 billion, for the London-listed pay TV group. [Reuters]
Manufacturing group support Reed to lead Export-Import Bank. At a Thursday morning hearing, the National Association for Manufacturers (NAM) said that it supports the Senate Banking Committee’s consideration to have Kimberly Reed lead the Export-Import Bank. “Reed will bring to Ex-Im Bank strong experience in financial management and banking issues,” wrote Linda Dempsey, vice president of economic affairs for NAM. The Ex-Im Bank has been without a confirmed chairman since President Trump and without a quorum - at least three members of a five-member board - since late 2015, leaving the bank short too many board members to issue loans above $10 million. There are nearly $43 billion in deals currently stuck in the pipeline due to the quorum conundrum. [The Hill]
US Jobless Claims drop to lowest levels since 1969. According to the Jobless Claims index released by the Labor Department, Unemployment lines across the US last week were the shortest they have been since 1969. This drop in filings for jobless claims was ultimately unexpected. The latest tally for jobless benefit applications coincides with the same week the Labor Department conducts surveys for the monthly job reports, so this data is an encouraging that the economy is robust. The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance has been running well below 300,000. [Bloomberg]