FOX Accepts Higher Cash Bid From Disney - Dealing A Blow To Comcast

IT'S A BIDDING WAR: Disney boosts its offer for 21st Century Fox assets to $71. 3 billion

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.

As you may recall, months back, Disney put a bid of $52.4 billion to acquire most of 21st Century Fox's assets, minus Fox News, Fox Business Network, and Fox Sports, which will be spun off into a separate company. But Comcast topped their bid last week with $60 billion in cash after courts ruled that AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner was approved, paving the way for antitrust concerns to be swept clean. Disney said it's raising its offer because Fox's value increased due to "tax reform and operating improvements". So just how high can the bidding war go?

While few people tend to pick sides in the cases of mega mergers, the Disney and Fox case is different for fans of Marvel Studios and superhero movies.

The roughly $71.1 billion package from Disney now includes a cash component, which is meant to combat the all-cash bid offer from Comcast.

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Both Comcast and Disney have acknowledged that they might have to divest certain Fox properties, such as Fox's regional sports networks, in order to get regulatory approval.

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

In a call with analysts, Iger said he believes Disney's bid is superior to Comcast's from a regulatory perspective.

'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. But a sky-high Comcast bid will make that tricky. But the NY company also said it is still weighing both offers, and noted that Disney's new bid doesn't have any provisions in it that prevents Fox from considering other offers.

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Fox's share price was trading at $44 early on Wednesday morning, indicating investors believe a bigger bid is likely.

The deal would include Fox movie and TV studios, some cable networks and worldwide assets, but not Fox News Channel or the Fox television network. Disney and Fox said they made a decision to postpone those meetings in order to "prepare updated SEC filings and proxy materials which will be sent to shareholders".

The bidding war between Disney and Comcast over 21st Century Fox assets could have some juice left in it, according to Jefferies analyst John Janedis.

The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 15, 2018.

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