21st Century Fox has agreed to an improved offer from The Walt Disney Co. worth $38 a share, up from $28 a share which was agreed upon in December. This valuation is a $3 premium over Comcast’s $35 a share all-cash offer that they made just last week.
The new offer from Disney is valued at $71.3 billion and is a 50/50 stock and cash split according to The Wall Street Journal. In a press release, Fox called the Disney deal “superior” to the Comcast offer made last week.
Comcast is unlikely to beat this offer as their current $65 billion all-cash offer would load the company with debt, all while shares of Comcast are down 17% on the year. In addition, Disney has already gone through months of regulatory review since the original deal was announced in December, making Disney offer quicker for Fox shareholders.
In a conference call on Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger claimed Disney will not consider making a deal with Comcast to split up Fox’s assets saying “We have an agreement in place with [Fox] that precludes that,”.
This agreement of a new deal is a huge blow to Comcast. Fox management was meeting today to evaluate the Comcast offer, which Comcast claims was superior to Disney’s offer. Although, the value of Disney’s all-stock offer had increased since December because the value of Disney stock has risen since then.
In response to this new offer, Fox has postponed its July 10th “special meeting with shareholders” to a later date. This meeting was scheduled so that shareholders could vote on the proposed Disney-Fox merger.
Disney’s original deal with Fox in December was worth $52.4 billion and was an all-stock offer.
The 21st Century Fox acquisition timeline provides a history of this saga and has been updated with this story.
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