Fox board to meet on Comcast's $65B bid

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 20, 2018

The Walt Disney Company has boosted its bid to acquire the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, raising its offering to $71.3 billion in cash and stock.

Disney's new offer is essentially the same as the first - just with a higher valuation for the Fox assets.

The improved offer came as 21st Century Fox board was set to decide whether to back Comcast's bid for assets that include Fox's film and television studios and worldwide businesses.

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.

Disney and Comcast are battling to win Fox's movie and television studios at a time when legacy media and distribution companies are looking to expand to better compete with younger media firms like Netflix that sell their content directly to viewers, according to Reuters.

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.

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 originally bid $28 a share back in December. Comcast's current bid was already poised to load the company up with debt, and its shares have fallen 18 per cent this year. Comcast's offer was all cash.

The deal would include Fox film and TV studios, some cable networks and global assets, but not Fox News Channel or the Fox television network. Disney committed to giving Fox shareholders Disney shares worth $38, as long as Disney's average stock price remains between $93.53 and $114.32. Shares of Disney rose 1.3 percent at $107.50. "Investors have been speculating that they could bid as high as $43-45".

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