Signage is displayed outside Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Alexander F. Yuan/Bloomberg)

TCI Votes in Favor of Disney's Offer for Fox Assets

(Bloomberg) -- 21st Century Fox Inc.’s second-largest shareholder has voted in favor of Walt Disney Co.’s $71.3 billion bid for its entertainment assets ahead of a Friday shareholder meeting, people familiar with the matter said.

Support from activist Christopher Hohn’s TCI Fund Management means the deal will likely be approved by investors overall, the people said, asking not to be identified because the voting was private.

A spokesman for New York-based Fox declined to comment. A representative for TCI couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Disney beat Comcast Corp. for the entertainment businesses, which includes a 39 percent stake in British pay-TV service Sky Plc, when the cable company walked away from a bidding war this month. Comcast has offered about $34 billion in a separate deal to buy all of Sky, including Fox’s stake, though it’s unclear if Disney will be willing to part with it.

TCI previously urged Fox founder Rupert Murdoch to reconsider Comcast’s offer, which was partly rejected due to fears of regulatory risk, saying the antitrust hurdles would be comparable and a Comcast bid could potentially be approved more quickly.

“We will be strongly motivated by the deal that offers the highest price and we will encourage other shareholders to do the same,” TCI said in the June letter. In the note, TCI also disclosed a 7.4 percent holding in Fox, making it the second largest shareholder after the Murdoch family trust, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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