Disney Plans To Counter Comcast’s Offer For Fox With Cash

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In light of the new Disney offer, Fox has reportedly not concluded that the June offer from Comcast would count as a "superior proposal", as per the existing merger agreement with Disney, but the new amended offer still allows the Fox board of directors to evaluate a new competing proposal.

It could lead to a bidding war as Disney will then have five business days to present a revised offer.

As to another scenario that some analysts and media observers have floated - Disney and Comcast dividing up the Fox assets - Iger said the agreement with Fox "precludes that".

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Fox's share price was trading at $44 early on Wednesday morning, indicating investors believe a bigger bid is likely.

FILE PHOTO: The Twenty-First Century Fox Studios flag flies over the company building in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 6, 2017. That Disney would raise the ante underscores the increasing value of content, following AT&T's own $85 billion purchase of Time Warner.

Just a few minutes before Iger and other Disney brass got on the phone this morning, they announced a new bid for Fox that is almost 10% above the one submitted last week by Comcast.

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In its review, Fox will need to decide whether Comcast's richer, all-cash offer is enough to offset the antitrust risk and potentially higher tax liabilities for some of its shareholders, analysts said. Their $65 billion all-cash bid topped the $52.4 billion deal that Disney inked with Fox in December. Disney's new offer of $38 per share is half cash and half stock. "Direct-to-consumer distribution has become an even more compelling proposition in the six months since we announced the deal".

Fox is retaining some of its assets, including Fox News and Fox Broadcasting Company, and rebranding them into a new standalone company that will be run by Murdoch and his son Lachlan. "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". Fox's formal evaluation of the bid could last months rather than weeks, as the board would seek counsel from financial advisers, one of the people said. Shares of Disney rose 29 cents to $106.47 and Comcast shares rose 22 cents to $33.03 Dollars. "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 worldwide presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world".

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