While The Walt Disney Company has remained confident that their $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox properties will be finalized early this year, they still have a few more hurdles to jump before they reach the finish line. As reported by Bloomberg, CEO Bob Iger recently flew to Brazil to push for “a key piece of regulatory approval,” but failed to bring the issue to a conclusion.
Once again, Disney’s sports assets seem to be the sticking point. While in the United States the U.S. Department of Justice is requiring Disney to sell off 22 regional sports networks within 90 days of the acquisition’s closing, Brazilian regulators are debating on whether the deal can go through without Disney dropping one of its sports channels there — ESPN or Fox Sports.
Cade, Brazil’s antitrust regulator, has yet to schedule a date to rule on the issue. Back in December, the organization was concerned about possible competition hazards; Bloomberg is reporting that “some Cade board members still see behavioral remedies as a viable option to obtain approval.”
Cade has a meeting scheduled for February 27th; if no decision is made on the issue then, it won’t meet the March 17th deadline and an extension would be necessary.
Iger stands to benefit substantially if the Fox deal proceeds successfully, with a possible bonus exceeding $100 million.
Image: The Walt Disney Company