Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s firm 21st Century Fox on Wednesday accepted a bid of $71.3 billion (approximately Rs 4.87 lakh crore) from Walt Disney for its movie and television assets, reported CNBC. The new offer outbids United States cable company Comcast in acquiring the business.
Walt Disney has offered $38 (approximately Rs 2,592) for one share. This is $3 higher than Comcast’s bid last week. The new agreement also offers more flexibility and enhancements than Comcast’s offer, said 21st Century Fox.
The new offer gives Fox shareholders the option to take their payment in cash or stock. The previous agreement was an all-stock deal. Disney may also take on about $13.8 billion of Fox’s net debt. With this, the total transaction value will go above $85 billion (approximately Rs 5.79 lakh crore).
The deal comes after a court rejected the US government’s objections to telecom company AT&T’s takeover of Fox’s rival Time Warner. Both Disney and Comcast are looking to use the Fox assets to bolster their content and expand overseas.
In December, Fox struck an all-stock deal with Disney worth $52.4 billion (Rs 3.36 lakh crore), shortly after rebuffing an offer from Comcast – the largest cable company and broadband provider in the United States – that was worth roughly $60 billion, all in stock. In February, Comcast submitted a £22.1-billion (approximately Rs 2 lakh crore) bid to buy British broadcasting company Sky, challenging an existing offer from Murdoch’s company.
The bidding war reflects an industry under threat from Silicon Valley, home to technology companies such as Netflix and Amazon that increasingly have more viewers, advertisement money and creative talent. Disney had also announced it will launch its own Netflix-like streaming services this year.