TCI Said to Exit Comcast, Doesn't Plan to Be Activist on Fox

(Bloomberg) -- TCI Fund Management has sold out of Comcast Corp. and bought a stake in Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The investment firm led by Christopher Hohn, who is best known for his activist bets, is not planning to demand changes at 21st Century Fox for now and its stake is held through non-voting shares, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. London-based TCI had held a 1.5 percent stake in Comcast at the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and had not demand changes at the U.S. broadcaster.

A spokesman for TCI declined to comment. Comcast and Fox did not immediately reply to requests for comment. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Hohn has a 4 percent stake -- worth about $3 billion -- in 21st Century Fox.

Comcast fell as much as 2.5 percent in New York trading as of 10:25 a.m. on Thursday, while Fox shares were trading up 1 percent.

The sale of TCI’s stake comes as Comcast, Fox and Walt Disney Co. consider a series of mega-mergers to respond to the growing threat of tech giants such as Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Comcast tried to buy Fox in late 2017 but Murdoch accepted a lower offer from Disney. Some investors have speculated that Comcast may make another approach for Fox.

Both U.S. broadcasters are also vying for Britain’s top pay-TV firm Sky Plc. Comcast formalized a 22 billion pound ($30 billion) bid for Sky on Wednesday, a 16 percent premium to an earlier Fox offer.

Hohn’s most recent activist battle was with London Stock Exchange Group Plc, where the firm failed to oust Chairman Donald Brydon and retain Xavier Rolet as chief executive officer. The firm also makes long-only passive bets on companies whose share prices they expect to rise.

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