The Walt Disney Company is back in the driver’s seat in the bidding war for 21st Century Fox’s assets. The company has re-raised Comcast, who officially made an all-cash $65 billion offer last week. Disney’s new offer comes in at a whopping $71.3 billion made up of a 50 / 50 stock cash split, according to the Wall Street Journal. As of this morning, Fox has accepted Disney’s offer, according to a press release.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Comcast decides to up the ante further by incresing their bid, but it’s unknown whether that would be enough to unseat Disney’s new bid, which Fox called superior in a press release today.
Reportedly many at Fox were already leaning towards Disney’s all-stock deal vs Comcasts cash offering. This new bid from “The House of Mouse,” seems to have appeased Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch, and Fox has actually post-poned the July 10th shareholders vote which would have allowed the shareholders to choose whether or not to consider Comcast’s offer or simply move forward with the newly accepted deal.
The saga began in December when reports first broke that 21st Century Fox was looking to sell off a sizable portion of their assets. With the goal of re-focusing the company on news and sports specifically, the media giant was prepared to sell off large swaths of the company, including their film studio 20th Century Fox. Disney swooped in and made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer, which Fox accepted. At the time, it seemed that the only hurdle left for the acquisition to clear was the federal regulatory review process, which got a boost last week when a U.S. Circuit Court judge approved AT&T’s merger with Time Warner.
However, Comcast had other plans. The company had been rumored to have interest in inserting themselves into the deal with a superior offer for Fox for months. Those rumors became reality last week when the company officially announced a $65 billion dollar all-cash offer for Fox’s assets. Despite this, it was widely rumored that many at Fox still preferred for the assets to be in the hands of Disney.