The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox have announced an updated merger agreement at the higher price of $38 per share, up from the previously announced $28 per share.
Disney’s new $71.3 billion cash and stock offer comes after Comcast Corporation made a rival all-cash bid of $65 billion, topping Disney’s initial $52.4 billion agreement. “The amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement offers a package of consideration, flexibility and deal certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by the Comcast Corporation on June 13, 2018,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
“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 Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
“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 at a dynamic time for our industry,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox. “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’s board was set to meet July 10 to vote on the proposed deal but has postponed that meeting so that shareholders can review the amended Disney agreement.