The Mouse House is pulling out all the stops to seal its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
The U.S. cable giant sparked a bidding war some weeks ago by tabling what it described as a “superior,” all-cash offer of $65 billion to acquire the same entertainment assets – X-Men and Deadpool included – sought after by Disney. As expected, the Mouse House has now responded with a superior deal of its own, and we understand this latest proposal values Fox at $38 a share.
This improved offer comes on the eve of Fox’s planned shareholder meeting, at which point the company’s board of directors is expected to decide whether to back Comcast’s bid, or settle for Disney’s arrangement. This would include Fox’s film and television studios and international businesses, such as Sky in the United Kingdom.
Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, released a statement on what he considers to be a transformative deal, as adding Fox’s entertainment assets to the Disney arsenal would allow the latter media giant to “create more appealing, high-quality content.” Which, for those at Marvel Studios, includes gaining access to the X-Men, Fantastic Four and the Merc With a Mouth himself, Deadpool.
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. At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to-consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.
Comcast is yet to comment on Disney’s new and increased bid, so it remains to be seen whether the U.S. cable giant can come back with a superior offer of its own. The ball is in their court, it seems, though the fact that Fox has since postponed its July 10th shareholder meeting means the pendulum may have already swung in Disney‘s favor. More on this story as it develops.