Sinclair places top bid for Fox Regional Sports Networks

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Sinclair Broadcasting  and The Walt Disney Company have reportedly reached a “handshake agreement”. The deal will see Sinclair pay $10 billion for 21st Century Fox’s Regional Sports Networks.

The people close to the deal have reportedly termed it as the top bid for the , Opens a New Window.  having placed what people close to the deal call the top bid for the 21st Century, FOX Business has reported.

However, the possibility of a late stage bidder’s entry is not ruled out as Sinclair and Disney have not yet finalised the final terms of the deal and Sinclair still seeks additional equity partners to invest in the networks, known as RSN. Bankers working for Disney at Allen & Co. and JPMorgan could declare an official winner in the coming days.

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The deal includes interest from Liberty Media Corporation, Major League Baseball and hip-hop impresario Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league among others.

Sinclair’s offer, most of it in cash, has emerged as the strongest bid during the six-month drama for the RSNs, states the report. Report, quoting people with direct knowledge of the auction, states most of the interest came from parties looking to snap up the RSNs at a low-ball price.

Disney had initially sought as much as $20 billion for the entire package of RSNs, which included the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, known as YES. The RSNs were valued at $20 billion based on what Disney paid for the Fox assets, which includes all of 21st Century Fox, excluding Fox’s owned and operated affiliates, Fox Sports, Fox News and FOX Business. These properties are now part of the new Fox, parent of FOX Business, which was formed after the Disney deal closed on March 20. Bankers had 90 days from that time to sell off the RSNs.

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