Disney Raises Fox Bid to $71 Billion, Dealing Blow to Comcast

Disney raises bid for 21st Century Fox assets to more than $70.3 billion

Disney raised its bid for 21st Century Fox after Comcast made a competing offer

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.

Deadline reports most analysts and industry observers had expected Disney to match Comcast, but not go so much higher.

For movie fans, as of now this means that presumed plans to reintegrate characters like Fantastic Four and X-Men (including Deadpool) into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe remain intact, as does the total acquisition of Fox's distribution rights to the original 1977 Star Wars for Lucasfilm. Shares of Disney rose 29 cents to $106.47 and Comcast shares rose 22 cents to $33.03 Dollars. There is a provision that allows Fox shareholders to decide if they want payment in stock or in cash.

The announcement comes as Comcast had made it clear that it would like the Fox assets to expand globally and add to its content library - the same aims as Disney.

The tussle follows AT&T Inc.'s victory over the U.S. Justice Department in its antitrust battle to take over Time Warner Inc. Disney said it's raising its offer because Fox's value increased due to "tax reform and operating improvements".

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The deal became possible when Murdoch, 87, and his sons chose to slim down their media-entertainment empire, leaving them with the Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and sports cable operations.

With this deal, Disney will get ownership of 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, Fox's 22 regional sports channels, cable channels including FX and National Geographic, and Fox's portfolio of worldwide operations, including a fast-growing pay-TV service in India. Comcast's was all cash while Disney's new offer of $38 per share is half cash and half stock.

Also at stake is the ownership of streaming service Hulu. Upon parting ways with those properties, Fox will spin off its flagship broadcast network business and the Fox News and Fox Sports units to form a new standalone company. Comcast countered last week with a $35-per-share all-cash offer, valued at $65.7 billion based on the same number of shares.

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox, said: "We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry".

"I think Comcast would be the most leveraged company ever".

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