Amazon among bidders for 22 Disney sports networks: CNBC


(Reuters) – Inc is bidding for Walt Disney Co’s 22 regional sports networks, including Yes Network, CNBC reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the web service Amazon is pictured in this June 8, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/Illustration/File Photo

Disney, which is buying Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s film and television assets, had said it would divest 22 of Fox’s regional sports networks as part of its agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The story gave no indication about the value of the bids. Sources had earlier told here Reuters that these networks could be worth as much as $20 billion.

Blackstone and an unnamed sovereign wealth fund, along with the New York Yankees, are also bidding for the New York network, CNBC said.

If Amazon clinches the deal, it would pay a higher price than the $13.7 billion the retail giant paid to buy Whole Foods Co last year.

Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch had hinted earlier this month that it could buy back the regional sports networks it sold to Disney.

Fox did not submit a bid in the first round for the networks although there was the potential that they would join in the second round, CNBC reported.

The second round of bids are expected before the year ends and due diligence on the bids begin next week.

Neither Disney nor Amazon immediately responded to Reuters request for comment.

Shares of Walt Disney shares were down 2 pct at $113.16, while Amazon fell 3.9 pct at $1452.67 in morning trade.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur

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