Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Disney ups Twenty-First Century Fox to more than $70.3 billion

Disney making $70.3 billion counterbid for Twenty First Century Fox BUSINESSDisney making $70.3 billion counterbid for Twenty First Century FoxSHARE:sharetweetshareemail none
Herman Weaver | 20 June, 2018, 18:26

Deadline reports most analysts and industry observers had expected Disney to match Comcast, but not go so much higher. The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms.

Disney's latest move raises the hurdle for Comcast, which now has to decide whether it is feasible to come back with a higher bid.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Inc.is leaning toward starting negotiations with Comcast Corp., paving the way for a bidding war over its entertainment assets, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Fox could also rebuff Comcast's bid.

Disney could sweeten its all-stock bid with cash, given its strong balance sheet and the potential boost to earnings per share, according to the people familiar with the matter.

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"Because of the liabilities of the board I don't think they can outright say no to Comcast's offer". In the wake of Judge Richard Leon clearing the $85 billion proffer - effectively allowing AT&T to absorb Time Warner - Comcast unveiled its proposal for the rights to intellectual properties owned by 21st Century Fox - including Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. "You at least need to do some kind of review process", he said.

The US government is now suing to block a merger between Time Warner, and the telecoms giant AT&T.

Directors can either begin that process by declaring on Wednesday that Comcast's proposal has a reasonable chance of becoming a superior offer, or they can simply ask Disney for a waiver to begin conversations with Comcast.

Disney has upped its offer to $71.3bn (£54bn) - from $52.4bn - trumping Comcast's $65bn all-cash hostile offer tabled last week.

For example, Comcast could give its internet subscribers easier or faster access to content from Hulu, which it would gain control over by buying Fox, than that of other media streaming services, the analysts said. "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 global presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world".

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