Disney increases bid for Murdoch's Fox assets

The advantage swings back to Disney to acquire some of the most valued assets in the entertainment world

The Walt Disney Company today announced that it signed an amended acquisition agreement with 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion in cash and stock.

The new offer shoulders Comcast's bid out of the way as Disney looks to lock up Fox, which is home to marquee franchises like X-Men, Deadpool, Kingsmen, and Planet of the Apes; animated films like Ice Age; and TV assets like The Simpsons and edgy network FX.

Back in December, Disney agreed to snap up 21st Century Fox for $52.4B, however, recently Comcast officially put in a bid for $65B for the same entertainment assets.

The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 15, 2018.

Disney is locked in a battle with U.S. media conglomerate Comcast, which has offered $65bn in cash for Fox.

Disney whose movies include The Incredibles 2 first offered US$52.4b in stock for the bulk of Fox assets
Disney whose movies include The Incredibles 2 first offered US$52.4b in stock for the bulk of Fox assets

As part of the deal, Disney will acquires 20th Century Fox, Fox's film studio, as well as a cable group that includes FX Networks, National Geographic and several worldwide channels and regional sports networks. Also included is Fox's 30% stake in Hulu and 39% interest in Euro satellite broadcaster Sky. Fox has postponed a July 10 meeting, which had originally been scheduled for shareholders to vote on the deal.

In pre-market trading, Fox shares rose 5.4% to $47.11, Comcast's were marginally lower, while Disney's rose by 1.3% to $107.50.

Any takeover by either Disney or Comcast would be likely to face regulatory scrutiny.

It has driven broadcast giant CBS to try to merge with Viacom, which owns the MTV and Nickelodeon television stations. Granted, they'd sued to block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner - which didn't pan out, obviously - but with Disney and Comcast still going toe to toe, with plenty left in the tank, this thing is far from over.

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