Walt Disney raises bid for Fox assets to $71.3-B, adds cash

Posted June 20, 2018

Fox's share price was trading at $44 early on Wednesday morning, indicating investors believe a bigger bid is likely.

Disney had made a $52.5 billion all-stock offer in December.

Spokesmen for Fox and Comcast weren't immediately available for comment. "Direct-to-consumer distribution has become an even more compelling proposition in the six months since we announced the deal".

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The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms. Those will be spun off into a new company.

Disney is upping the ante for Fox, making a $70.3 billion counterbid for Fox's entertainment businesses following Comcast's $65 billion offer for the company. "Further hampering Comcast's ability to respond is its position that it does not want to use its stock in a deal at these low levels".

Disney, meanwhile, could also benefit from Fox's wide range of television and film assets, which could feed into its streaming services, including a planned rival to Netflix sometimes referred to as Disneyflix.

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Following the deal, Fox shareholders would own about 19 percent of the combined company, Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said on a conference call.

Under the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement, Disney would acquire those businesses on substantially the same terms, except that, among other things, Disney's offer allows 21CF stockholders to elect to receive their consideration, on a value equalized basis, in the form of cash or stock, subject to 50/50 proration.

The US government is now suing to block a merger between Time Warner, and the telecoms giant AT&T.

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The tie-up "is an extremely compelling proposition for consumers that will allow us to create even more appealing high quality content, expand our direct to consumer offerings, an global presence and deliver more exciting and personalized entertainment experiences to meet the growing demands of consumers worldwide", Iger told a conference call. That would lift the total transaction value above about $85-billion. It can't really be said that Comcast would have really done anything good with them, so we will just have to wait and see how this pans out - as Comcast could still make a higher offer.