Disney Signs Amended Deal To Acquire Fox For $71.4 Billion

Calvin Saunders
June 21, 2018

The tie-up "is an extremely compelling proposition for consumers that will allow us to create even more appealing high quality content, expand our direct to consumer offerings, an global presence and deliver more exciting and personalized entertainment experiences to meet the growing demands of consumers worldwide", Iger told a conference call.

"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".

The new cash-or-stock deal may be attractive to Fox's largest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch, who owns 17 percent voting shares along with his family.

Fox stockholders would receive 27.45% of a Disney share for every Fox share they own. In a statement Wednesday Disney said it is raising its offer because Fox's value increased due to "tax reform and operating improvements".

The release said Disney was confident the transaction would secure regulatory approval.

AT&T structured its $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner to avoid such a review.

Now, according to CNN Money, Disney has raised their bid to $71.3 billion, topping Comcast's offer by $6.3 billion.

Walt Disney Co.is close to winning USA antitrust approval for its $71 billion deal for 21st Century Fox Inc.'s entertainment assets, according to a person familiar with the matter, creating a potentially insurmountable hurdle for a rival bid from Comcast Corp.

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Disney's new offer gives Fox shareholders the option to take their payment in the form of cash or stock, up to a 50-50 level.

The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms. "It goes beyond just pushing the envelope for Comcast to use this bid to try to extend its reach yet further", said Gene Kimmelman, a former antitrust attorney for the Justice Department.

Iger said Disney has been working with regulators in the US and around the world and has "made a lot of progress" toward obtaining approvals.

However, the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement contains no changes to the provisions relating to the Company's directors' ability to evaluate a competing proposal.

Fox postponed a shareholder meeting that had been scheduled for July 10.

The New York Times reported last week that Comcast was determined to buy Fox's film and TV assets after a deal to absorb Disney fell through in 2004, which sources told the newspaper Comcast views as a mistake. 21st Century Fox also holds approximately 39.1 per cent of the issued shares of Sky, Europe's leading entertainment company, which serves almost 23 million households across five countries.

Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest developments on Disney and Comcast's bids for Fox's assets! Upon parting ways with those properties, Fox will spin off its flagship broadcast network business and the Fox News and Fox Sports units to form a new standalone company.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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