Disney shares closed higher Wednesday after the US media and entertainment brand announced a new, improved offer to buy the majority of 21st Century Fox’s media assets. The new bid values Fox at over $71 billion, up from its original $54 billion offer and also higher than Comcast’s $65 billion bid.
Disney shares ended the US Wednesday trading session 0.99% higher at €107.15. Fox shares, meanwhile, closed up 7.54% at $48.08. Both stocks are higher in after-hours activity.
Disney’s improved Fox offer
Disney Wednesday made a much-improved offer to buy Fox’s movie studio, its cable TV networks and also its stake in streaming service, Hulu.
The iconic US brand increased its original offer for much of Murdoch’s media empire to $71.3 billion. The set up of the proposed purchase is also different. Instead of offering all cash, the bid is now split 50/50 between cash and shares.
The breakdown would see Disney pay around $35.7 billion in cash and also issue some 343 million new shares to 21st Century Fox shareholders. That would represent around a 19% stake in Disney.
“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,” said Walt Disney’s CEO and chairman Robert A. Igor.
Fox shareholders to consider new Disney offer
Following the updated and improved bid from Disney, Fox said its shareholders would discuss the bid at a special shareholder meeting that has now been delayed to give them time to evaluate the new offer.
“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,” Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said.
The company statement on the news, added that in light if of this new offer from Disney, Comcast’s bid could no longer be considered “superior” to Disney’s.