Disney ups Twenty-First Century Fox to more than $70.3 billion

Galtero Lara
Junio 20, 2018

The mouse is chasing the fox.

Once Fox engages in talks with Comcast, it will then have to determine if the offer is definitively a superior deal for Fox shareholders, compared with its agreement with Disney.

According to the trade the new offer is approximately $19 billion larger than the one Fox accepted a year ago, and almost 10% higher than the $65 billion offer Comcast put on the table last week.

The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms. They are amassing ever more programming to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers' attention - and dollars. Disney originally bid $28 a share back in December.

A week after Comcast launched an unsolicited $65 billion all-cash bid for Fox's entertainment assets, Disney returned with an amended agreement with Rupert Murdoch's media giant for $71.3 billion split evenly between cash and stock.

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Disney has also moved from its original tactic of an all-stock deal for Fox, owner of assets including X-Men to the Deadpool studio 20th Century Fox, and a 39% stake in Sky, to a 50/50 mix of cash and shares.

Disney's latest offer is a "very aggressive move" by Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger and may make it hard for Comcast to respond, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney.

Disney has increased its offer to purchase 21st Century Fox, once again taking the reigns from Comcast and becoming the highest bidder. It did not mention Comcast's bid.

"After six months of integration planning we're even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox", said Iger in a statement. Part of the business will be used to create an entity called "New Fox", which will include the highly lucrative Fox News, the sports channels FS1 and FS2, and the Fox broadcasting channel. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of this station.

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