Fox Accepts Disney's Raised $71 Billion Bid In Blow To Comcast

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Disney raised its offer for the assets from $52.4bn to $71.3bn and also for the first time made an alternative available to Fox shareholders who would rather receive an element of cash instead of Disney shares.

Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch said the company "firmly believes" that the combination with Disney "will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world". Disney's new offer of $38 per share is half cash and half stock. "[Comcast Chairman and CEO] Brian Roberts, if you remember, a little over 10 years ago tried to take over Disney and was shown the door by Iger and Co. -and that's going to happen again", said Bibb.

For movie fans, as of now this means that presumed plans to reintegrate characters like Fantastic Four and X-Men (including Deadpool) into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe remain intact, as does the total acquisition of Fox's distribution rights to the original 1977 Star Wars for Lucasfilm.

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. Disney's previous offer was all stock.

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Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger played down any antitrust concerns in a deal, and said he has been working with regulators around the world for the past six months.

That's more than the $65 billion Comcast (CMCSA) offered a week ago.

The bidding war for 21st Century Fox continues.

The move comes a week after Comcast, the US cable giant, offered $65bn in cash for the assets, which include 20th Century Fox - the Hollywood film studio behind hits such as Avatar, X-Men and Ice Age - US cable TV networks including FX and National Geographic and global pay television assets including Star TV in India.

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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.

Also at stake is the ownership of streaming service Hulu.

"These bids are a validation of Fox assets, which can be a big help to someone looking to bring their content business to a global scale", said Drew Weitz, director of equity research at Omaha, Nebraska-based Weitz Asset Management.

Comcast, which had proposed to pay $35 per share, declined to comment on Disney's freshened offer.

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