Disney makes $71B counteroffer for Fox

The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City New York

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

The Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday raised its bid to buy the majority of 21st Century Fox Inc's TV and film assets to $71.3 billion.

The $38-a-share price is about $10 a share higher than what Disney offered in December - and $3 above Comcast's bid from last week.

Disney's previous offer of $52.4 billion came as an all-stock offer in December. But, if we've learned anything from these updates, it's that nothing should be set in stone just yet.

"The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies", said Disney boss Robert Iger.

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.

Today, that scale tips once more in Disney's favor. Fox is bidding to acquire the remaining 61%, which would then be handed over to Disney in a deal. So buckle-up, it looks like this ride isn't over yet.

Fox appears to be reluctant to strike a deal with Comcast because of concerns about getting regulatory approval from the federal government. Disney added 1.2 percent to $107.43.

Disney said it believes the proposed transaction has a "clear and timely path to regulatory approval".

The new cash-or-stock deal may be attractive to Fox's largest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch, who owns 17 percent voting shares along with his family. 21st Century Fox also holds approximately 39.1 per cent of the issued shares of Sky, Europe's leading entertainment company, which serves almost 23 million households across five countries.

The deal also would give Disney a controlling stake in Hulu, the online platform created by media groups to challenge Netflix and Amazon.

The Fox sale would not include major assets such as the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox Broadcasting Company.

The Justice Department's antitrust division has been reviewing the Disney deal for months, while the investigation into Comcast's bid hasn't started, according to the person.

For all the certainty Iger projects, many observers believe the Disney-Fox-Comcast intrigue is in early innings.

As announced on May 30, 2018, 21CF has established a record date of May 29, 2018 and a meeting date of July 10, 2018, for a special meeting of its stockholders to, among other things, consider and vote on a proposal to adopt the Disney Merger Agreement.

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.

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