Disney ups Twenty-First Century Fox to more than $70.3 billion

The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City New York

IT'S A BIDDING WAR: Disney boosts its offer for 21st Century Fox assets to $71. 3 billion

This valuation is a $3 premium over Comcast's $35 a share all-cash offer that they made just last week.

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

Disney and Comcast are battling to win Fox's movie and television studios at a time when legacy media and distribution companies are looking to expand to better compete with newer media firms like Netflix Inc that sell their content directly to viewers. A representative for Fox didn't immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

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Disney's latest offer is a "very aggressive move" by Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger and may make it hard for Comcast to respond, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney. That outcome is expected to spur a wave of media consolidation, emboldening companies to get more aggressive with deals. 21st Century Fox must be feeling pretty damn good about itself right now.

Disney is making a $70.3 billion counterbid for Fox's entertainment businesses following Comcast's $65 billion offer for the company. The previous agreement was an all-stock deal, and Comcast's cash offer was seen as a significant enticement.

"We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry", 21st Century Fox's executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, said in the press release.

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The collar on the stock consideration will ensure that 21st Century Fox shareholders will receive a number of Disney shares equal to $38 in value if the average Disney stock price at closing is between $93.53 and $114.32.

The US government is now suing to block a merger between Time Warner, and the telecoms giant AT&T. If 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own prior to closing of the Disney acquisition, Disney would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing.

It remained unclear whether Comcast would increase its bid, which was announced as an all-cash deal in a bidding war that will leave a top player in Hollywood and the global television market.

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