Disney ups Fox offer to £54bn | City & Business | Finance



Disney increased an earlier $52.4billion offer, which now includes cash as well as shares, trumping an all-cash hostile $65billion approach from US cable giant Comcast tabled last week. 

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The assets up for grabs include Fox’s 39 per cent stake in satellite broadcaster Sky, as well as The Simpsons, National Geographic and The Hollywood film studio behind X-Men and Avatar. 

The group’s news, sports and broadcast businesses would be spun off to create a new Fox company focused on live news and sports brands. 

Fox said Disney’s new proposal “offers a package of consideration, flexibility and deal-certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by Comcast Corporation”. 

Murdoch, Fox executive chairman, said: “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. 

“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.”

Disney’s chairman and chief executive Bob Iger said a deal would bring “significant financial value” to shareholders. 

He added: “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. 

“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 personalised and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.” 

Comcast, which has made a separate £22billion bid for Sky, is expected to sweeten its offer.


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