Disney Sweetens 21st Century Fox Offer
The bidding war for assets owned by the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox has escalated with Disney adding cash to its offer in an attempt to see off rival media giant, Comcast.
Disney injected cash into its bid for assets owned by Disney to boost the value of its offer to $US38 for each Fox share.
That’s is higher than the original $US28 a share offer in Disney stock. That is also $US3 a share more than the cash offer from Comcast which is valued at $US65 billion plus the debt.
The new Disney offer is 50-50 cash or shares, according to a statement from the company
That values the Fox assets in cable TV, film, Sky Plc, Star India subject to the agreement to $US71.3 billion, up from the original $US52.4 billion.
There will be $US13.8 billion or so in debt on top this figure and will take the total value of the deal to around $US85 billion.
The new offer, which is in the form of cash or stock, subject to 50/50 proration, is about $10 higher than Disney’s first offer in December 2017.
“In light of the revised terms contained in the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement, 21CF’s board, after consultation with its outside legal counsel and financial advisors, has not concluded that the unsolicited proposal it received on June 13, 2018 from Comcast could reasonably be expected to result in a ‘Company Superior Proposal’ under the Disney Merger Agreement," 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
It’s no wonder the Fox board likes this offer and reckons its superior because the Murdoch family will take the shares and the hedge funds will take the cash.
Disney has also agreed to buy Sky News in the UK from Sky if the Fox bid succeeds. Comcast has overbid Fox for Sky by around $US4 billion.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.