"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", said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. Last week, Comcast made a $65 billion all cash offer for the company, but now Disney has answered back.
A federal judge last week ruled that AT&T and Time Warner can go through with their $85 billion merger, essentially giving Comcast and Disney the greenlight to get in a bidding war over their Fox bids. Disney committed to giving Fox shareholders Disney shares worth $38, as long as Disney's average stock price remains between $93.53 and $114.32. "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. 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". Are you glad to see Disney own FOX? In 2017, they had 21.8% while 20th Century Fox had only 12%.
Disney is locked in a battle with USA media conglomerate Comcast, which has offered $65bn in cash for Fox.
The latest move by Disney raises the hurdle for Comcast, which has to decide whether it is feasible to counter with a higher bid.
However, there is a conflicting report from Bloomberg that claims that Disney and Fox have agreed on this amount and that their deal is going forward.
In morning trading, shares of 21st Century Fox rallied 6 percent to $47.47.
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Disney said the value of the assets - which include production companies responsible for "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family", as well as film production businesses - had increased compared to December due to tax reform and operating improvements.
Comcast is yet to comment on the new deal.
The $800 million Weitz Value Fund owned 550,000 Comcast Class A shares and 450,000 Twenty-First Century Fox Class A shares at the end of March.
The Disney-Comcast contest will determine who controls much of Rupert Murdoch's empire, including Fox's movie and TV studios, television networks such as FX, and multichannel providers like Star India and Sky Plc.
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. Shares of Disney rose 29 cents to $106.47 and Comcast shares rose 22 cents to $33.03 United States dollars.