Saturday, 21 July, 2018

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

21st Century Fox IT'S A BIDDING WAR: Disney boosts its offer for 21st Century Fox assets to $71. 3 billion
Gerardo Duncan | 21 June, 2018, 00:40

Diversified Private Wealth Advisors President Dominick Tavella and Rosecliff CEO Mike Murphy on Comcast's bid challenging Disney's deal to acquire 21st Century Fox' entertainment assets and the outlook for Federal Reserve policy.

Fox's board is recommending the increased Disney offer to its shareholders and said that it was "superior" to the offer from Comcast last week.

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.

Disney said it expects to pay a total of about $35.7bn in cash and issue 343 million new shares to Fox shareholders, representing about a 19% stake in Disney, with the deal valued at $71.3bn.

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, said Fox believes Disney's offer is better than Comcast's - but the company said it would consider bids from other companies, including a revised offer from Comcast.

If you're interested how this shakes out beyond the Marvel implications, this also means that Disney will the distribution rights to the original 1977 Star Wars film for Lucasfilm, as well as the rights to franchises like Avatar, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Predator, Die Hard, Kingsman, Ice Age and Night at the Museum, among others.

That's why Disney raised their previous bid to a bid of $71.3 billion, 10% above the one Comcast submitted previously.

The move comes a week after Comcast, the US cable giant, offered $65bn in cash for the assets, which include 20th Century Fox - the Hollywood film studio behind hits such as Avatar, X-Men and Ice Age - US cable TV networks including FX and National Geographic and global pay television assets including Star TV in India. Disney had previously offered shares worth $28 each.

"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.

Also at stake is the ownership of streaming service Hulu.

However, the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement contains no changes to the provisions relating to the Company's directors' ability to evaluate a competing proposal.

The bidding war, however, may not be over just yet.

The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms.

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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