The Disney-Fox saga may be entering its final stages after the Mouse House tabled an offer worth almost $71.3 billion in cash and stock – a full 20 percent higher than its initial bid and significantly higher than that put forward by Comcast, after the U.S. cable giant hoped to hijack this historic merger with a rival deal ($65 billion) of its own.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal (h/t io9), Disney’s renewed deal will allow it to absorb most of Fox’s entertainment subsidiaries into its operations, as 21st Century Fox has reportedly accepted the Mouse House’s proposal, one which values Fox at $38 a share.
We understand the finer print of Disney’s acquisition remains the same, but this increased cash offer ought to be enough to see off Comcast and get this merger – a merger that looked to have been signed, sealed and delivered back in December – over the line.
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Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, is certainly keen to wrap things up, and believes the increased competition from Netflix and other major digital players has prompted Disney’s aggressive pursuit of 21st Century Fox and its entertainment assets.
Direct-to-consumer distribution has become an even more compelling proposition in the six months since we announced the deal. The consumer is voting—loudly.
Adding Fox assets to its immense portfolio will certainly lend yet more firepower to Disney‘s as-yet-unannounced streaming service, which is expected to boot online with a live-action Star Wars series in 2019. And while it was initially floated as a possibility early on, it now appears that the Mouse House has no intentions of dividing up the Fox assets with Comcast, as the two companies had already settled on an agreement late last year.
Source: The Wall Street Journal