Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) has reportedly been holding on-again, off-again talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co. (DIS) , according to a report from CNBC that cited unnamed sources.
The deal talks have taken place over the last several weeks, but there is no certainty that they could lead to a sale. Disney and Fox are not presently pursuing a deal, but the nature of the talks suggest a proposition could be revisited.
Sources said Fox management has considered a sale of most of the company in order to leave behind a more tightly focused media firm centered around news and sports.
Disney would not purchase all of Fox, insiders said. The company wouldn't be permitted to own two broadcast networks, so Disney would not be interested in the Fox broadcast properties. Similarly, buying Fox's sports properties could stem antitrust concerns given Disney's ownership of ESPN. Insiders said Disney isn't interested in purchasing Fox's broadcasting affiliates, either.
Fox shares were halted in early afternoon trading on volatility. By mid-afternoon, shares were up over 5.7% to $26.40. Disney stock gained 0.5% to $99.16.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet: