Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Disney Just Upped Its Bid For 21st Century Fox Deal

Disney Just Upped Its Bid For 21st Century Fox Deal

Disney is upping the ante for Fox, making a $70.3 billion counterbid for Fox's entertainment businesses following Comcast's $65 billion offer for the company. In 2017, Disney's Buena Vista held a dominant 21.8% of the movie market share, while 20th Century Fox held 12%.

Fox said it will postpone a special shareholders meeting in order to provide stockholders with an opportunity to evaluate Disney's amended offer.

"We remain convinced that the combination of 21st Century Fox's iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney's will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world". So just how high can the bidding war go? Last week's consummation of the long-simmering AT&T-Time Warner merger has all but given the green light to titans like Disney and Comcast looking to build their respective empires by snapping up smaller entities. Comcast's was all cash while Disney's new offer of $38 per share is half cash and half stock.

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.

The deal does not include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, television stations, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.

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"Comcast would have to offer a ton more cash to even come close to matching when figuring Disney valuation and taxes", said Ross Gerber? of the investment firm Gerber Kawasaki. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch said the company "firmly believes" that the combination with Disney is a good fit.

The acquisition will significantly increase Disney's global footprint and expand the content and distribution for its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans; a Disney-branded streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019 that will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films along with a host of exclusive original content and library titles; and its ownership stake in Hulu.

Fox is retaining some of its assets, including Fox News and Fox Broadcasting Company, and rebranding them into a new standalone company that will be run by Murdoch and his son Lachlan.

"I think Comcast would be the most leveraged company ever". Comcast and Disney each own a 30 percent stake in Hulu and Time Warner holds 10 percent.

You can read the full Disney press release HERE and the FOX press release HERE.

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