Let the games begin. 21st Century Fox must be feeling pretty damn good about itself right now. 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 nearly $20 billion.
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. However, just a few days back, Comcast threw down the gauntlet, putting in a $65 billion all-cash bid. The big question here was now if Disney would let things lie or take on Comcast with a higher offer.
Now, according to CNN Money, Disney has raised their bid to $71.3 billion, topping Comcast’s offer by $6.3 billion. There is one key difference here, however, that makes this offer all the more attractive. There is a provision that allows Fox shareholders to decide if they want payment in stock or in cash.
As of this writing, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, believes that Disney is putting out the better offer, but is totally open to accepting a bid from Comcast should they raise it. However, if you were hoping to see a decision made soon, you won’t, as a shareholder meeting to decide the matter has been pushed back to July 10…at least that’s what CNN Money says.
However, there is a conflicting report from Bloomberg that claims that Disney and Fox have agreed on this amount and that their deal is going forward. I suppose time will tell on that front. At the end of the day, this deal would still have to go through regulators, but with the AT&T-Time Warner merger going through, there seems to be little problem with that. We’ll have to wait and see which outlet was correct.
Here’s what Disney CEO Bob Iger had to say in a statement:
“The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies, and after six months of integration planning we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox. At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to-consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.”
Do you expect Comcast to make a counter-bid? Let us know your thoughts down below!