Disney raises its bid for Fox to $71 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

The mouse is chasing the fox.

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.

Fox's board, which agreed six months ago to sell the assets to Walt Disney Co.in an all-stock deal, is convening Wednesday to consider Comcast's $65 billion all-cash proposal, Bloomberg News reported earlier.

Disney has also moved from its original tactic of an all-stock deal for Fox, owner of assets including X-Men to the Deadpool studio 20th Century Fox, and a 39% stake in Sky, to a 50/50 mix of cash and shares.

The roughly $71.1 billion package from Disney now includes a cash component, which is meant to combat the all-cash bid offer from Comcast.

Fox said it will postpone its special shareholders meeting in order to provide stockholders the opportunity to evaluate Disney's amended offer. Comcast's current bid was already poised to load the company up with debt, and its shares have fallen 18 per cent this year.

Disney, meanwhile, could also benefit from Fox's wide range of television and film assets, which could feed into its streaming services, including a planned rival to Netflix sometimes referred to as Disneyflix. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch said the company "firmly believes" that the combination with Disney is a good fit. Fox will have to pay Disney a $1.5 billion breakup fee if it backs out of that deal. "We remain convinced that the combination of 21CF's iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney's will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world", he said in a statement.

Should the Fox board - which will be convening this week to discuss the Comcast bid - consider the global telecommunications conglomerate tender superior to the agreement with Disney, the Mouse House will have five days to match the offer. Last week, a judge signed off on AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

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