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Disney increases bid for Murdoch's Fox assets

20 June, 2018, 19:59 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Disney making $70.3 billion counterbid for Twenty First Century Fox

It appears that Disney will indeed buy 21st Century FOX, as the company has raised its initial offer to more than $71 billion - after Comcast came in and outbid them.

Just a few minutes before Iger and other Disney brass got on the phone this morning, they announced a new bid for Fox that is almost 10% above the one submitted last week by Comcast.

Analysts pointed out that the stock component of the Disney offer would be non-taxable as a swap of assets, making it more hard for Comcast to make a higher bid. "We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF's iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney's will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world", he said in a statement.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Inc.is leaning toward starting negotiations with Comcast Corp., paving the way for a bidding war over its entertainment assets, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Analysts have been gearing up for more media consolidation following last week's approval by a USA judge of a massive $85 billion takeover by telecom-broadband giant AT&T of media-entertainment conglomerate Time Warner.

Fox accepted the sweetened terms, saying it offers "a package of consideration, flexibility and deal certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by the Comcast Corporation". "Direct-to-consumer distribution has become an even more compelling proposition in the six months since we announced the deal".

The battle for control of some of the entertainment world's most prized properties has hotted up, with Disney dramatically increasing its offer for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. Fox has postponed a July 10 meeting, which had originally been scheduled for shareholders to vote on the deal. Both companies see a Fox acquisition as potentially transformative, adding to their arsenal of hit movies and shows at a time when digital rivals such as Netflix and Amazon are changing the way that consumers watch and pay for content.

An important part of the Fox assets getting attention are the company's worldwide assets such as Star India.

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.



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