FOX Agrees Merge With Disney After New $71 Billion Bid

FOX Agrees Merge With Disney After New $71 Billion Bid

FOX Agrees Merge With Disney After New $71 Billion Bid

After Comcast's recent $65 billion bid, Disney has now chose to raise their offer to $71.3 billion in cash and stock.

Comcast's current $65-billion cash offer for Fox - along with the potential Sky deal - was already expected to push its debt load to $170-billion, according to Moody's Investors Service.

As of this writing, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, believes that Disney is putting out the better offer, but is totally open to accepting a bid from Comcast should they raise it.

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.

Fox said that in light of the new offer tabled by Disney it has concluded that Comcast's bid can not be considered to result in a better deal for shareholders. The battle for Fox has transfixed the media business, pitting Disney chief Bob Iger and Comcast head Brian Roberts against one, as the control of one of Hollywood's most storied film and television brands hangs in the balance.

The ruling suggests regulators may have a more hard time blocking a major deal in the sector on antitrust grounds.

Shares of 21st Century Fox were up 6% on the news, while Disney's were up 2.2%. The bidding war comes after AT&T bought Time Warner for $81 billion, after a federal judge rejected the government's antitrust concerns.

"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". But it comes with one key change created to stave off Comcast's all-cash offer: a provision that allows Fox shareholders to decide whether to accept their payment in cash or stock.

The amended agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Disney and 21st Century Fox. This valuation is a $3 premium over Comcast's $35 a share all-cash offer that they made just last week.

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