New $71.3 billion Disney bid for Fox tops Comcast’s

Emmett Rice
June 21, 2018

When Disney announced it was essentially buying the production assets of Fox, the deal was already an insane amount of money, $52 billion in stock and Disney taking $14 billion in debt off Fox's hands for a total cost of $66 billion, roughly 1,100,000 teacher's salaries.

The mouse is chasing the fox.

Disney is offering more than $71 billion for Fox's entertainment businesses in a counterbid to Comcast's almost $66 billion offer. In 2017, they had 21.8% while 20th Century Fox had only 12%.

Of course, Fox will ultimately go with whichever company gives them a better deal. Last week, a judge signed off on AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

Do you expect Comcast to make a counter-bid?

The United States Justice Department could approve the deal in two weeks time, according to the source, who also states that Disney is willing to see some assets to address issues of competition problems that concern regulators. "Direct-to-consumer distribution has become an even more compelling proposition in the six months since we announced the deal".

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If Disney prevails, "Avatar" and other movies from Fox's studios would help beef up Disney's upcoming streaming service. If Comcast wins, it would get a larger portfolio of cable channels including FX and National Geographic.

In a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier this morning Walt Disney Company CEO, Bob Iger, spoke on the importance of closing the Disney/Fox deal to the company and its consumers. A Disney representative didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. All of a sudden, it's like that girl in high school who everyone wants to ask out, as over the course of the past few weeks, the bid to acquire most of its assets has been raised by almost $20 billion. GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said he thinks the "line in the sand" is $75 billion to $80 billion. "That said, this poker game appears to be just getting started".

The collar on the stock consideration will ensure that 21st Century Fox shareholders will receive a number of Disney shares equal to $38 in value if the average Disney stock price at closing is between $93.53 and $114.32.

21st Century Fox is the next big prize as the media industry consolidates to survive against competitors such as Netflix and Facebook.

Disney's new offer consists of $35.7 billion in cash, with the rest in stock.

Mr Murdoch, whose family trust has an economic interest of 16.6% in Fox, stunned the media industry when, just before Christmas previous year, he agreed to sell most of the company to Disney in a deal that would represent the biggest shake-up in Hollywood since the 1930s - bringing together respectively the fourth and second largest movie studios in Tinseltown.

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