Disney ups Fox bid to $71.3 billion

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But the NY company said it is still weighing both offers and noted that Disney's new bid doesn't bar Fox from considering other offers.

Comcast, which has lodged a separate £22bn bid to buy Sky, is expected to respond with a sweeter deal as a bidding war hots up over the summer.

As expected, now Disney has upped their offer for the purchase of Fox Studios, which follows Comcast having offered a $65 billion all-cash deal.

AT&T structured its $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner to avoid such a review. In a call with analysts, Iger said he believes Disney's bid is superior to Comcast's from a regulatory perspective, and said that six months of dealing with regulators both in the USA and internationally has given Disney a "meaningful head start". Even though a federal judge resoundingly defeated the government's lawsuit seeking to block the vertical merger of AT&T and Time Warner, the Disney CEO said he still believes a more vertical blend of Comcast (whose holdings include the No. 1 US cable system) and Fox would face scrutiny.

Disney's revised offer of $38 a share, which would be split 50-50 in cash and stock, is $10 higher than Disney's first bid in December 2017. Comcast declined to comment.

'We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF's iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney's will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world, ' he said in a statement. And Disney is offering stock and cash, which can lower the tax burden for Fox shareholders. Fox has attempted to acquire the portion of Sky that it doesn't already own, but Comcast swooped in with a higher bid. Disney will also now control the rights to such current Fox cinematic franchises as Avatar, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Predator, Die Hard, Kingsman, Ice Age and Night at the Museum.


"This is just the beginning of what is going to be an unbelievable bidding war", Bibb said, although he believes Disney will prevail in the long run. Disney's amended offer, made as Fox's board convenes for a regularly scheduled meeting, is a combination of cash and stock.

Granted, even if Fox agrees to a deal, the merger would still be subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission.

Murdoch will keep a few properties, including Fox News, the Fox Sports national cable channels and the Fox broadcasting network.

Fox shares jumped 8 percent to $48.23, while Comcast rose 2.1 percent to $33.52.

21st Century Fox is one of the world's leading portfolios of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Those would be spun off into a new company, and Comcast or Disney would acquire 21st Century Fox after the spinoff.

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