Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Disney making $70.3 billion counterbid for Twenty-First Century Fox

Disney making $70.3 billion counterbid for Twenty-First Century Fox

Disney has raised its offer to acquire the studio and cable network assets of 21st Century Fox to $71.3 billion in cash and stock, reports Deadline.

However, Comcast broke cover in February to launch a rival bid for Sky in competition with Fox and then, last week, tabled an offer for the Fox entertainment assets in competition with Disney.

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".

This price represents a significant increase over the purchase price of approximately $28 per share included in the Disney Merger Agreement when it was announced in December 2017.

"We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders", said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox.

Fox said it would now allow shareholders to evaluate Disney's amended offer.

The bidding war for 21st Century Fox continues.

As part of the deal, Disney will acquires 20th Century Fox, Fox's film studio, as well as a cable group that includes FX Networks, National Geographic and several global channels and regional sports networks.

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. Both companies had been scheduled to hold shareholder meetings on the previously announced transaction on July 10. "There has just been not only a tremendous amount of development in that space, but clearly the consumer is voting-loudly".

It is also thought Comcast's all-cash offer would crystallise a significantly capital gains tax bill for Mr Murdoch than would Disney's offer.

The deal also would give Disney a controlling stake in Hulu, the online platform created by media groups to challenge Netflix and Amazon. "I don't think Bob Iger is walking away".

"Comcast, unfortunately, is going to be losing a Disney battle for the second time". If 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own prior to closing of the Disney acquisition, Disney would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing.

Like this: