The Walt Disney Co. Wednesday increased its offer for Fox’s movie studio, along with Fox’s regional sports networks and cable channels like FX and National Geographic, raising it to $71.3 billion, compared to the $65 billion Comcast offered a week ago.
Disney had initially bid $52.4 billion for Fox in December.
“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 Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger. “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.”
The new offer comes with a key change designed to stave off Comcast’s all-cash offer: a provision that allows Fox shareholders to decide whether to accept their payment in cash or stock.
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, said Fox believes Disney’s offer is better than Comcast’s, but the company said it would consider bids from other companies, including a revised offer from Comcast, CNN reported.