Disney boosts Fox bid to $71.3 bn to counter Comcast

Disney making $70.3 billion counterbid for Twenty First Century Fox

Bloomberg now reports that Fox has accepted Disney's proposal, making it the offer to beat in the bidding war.

Diversified Private Wealth Advisors President Dominick Tavella and Rosecliff CEO Mike Murphy on Comcast's bid challenging Disney's deal to acquire 21st Century Fox' entertainment assets and the outlook for Federal Reserve policy.

Spokesmen for Fox and Comcast weren't immediately available for comment.

The move comes after Comcast launched a rival offer for most of Fox's film and television holdings.

Of course, when all is said and done, should 21st Century Fox be willing to dance with The Walt Disney Company, there's a good chance the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division will intervene. The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms.

The deal became possible when Murdoch, 87, and his sons made a decision to slim down their media-entertainment empire, leaving them with the Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and sports cable operations.

Fox stockholders would receive 27.45% of a Disney share for every Fox share they own. Disney's new offer of $38 per share is half cash and half stock. At the end of the day, this deal would still have to go through regulators, but with the AT&T-Time Warner merger going through, there seems to be little problem with that.

If Fox were to start negotiations with Comcast, that could impact plans for shareholders to vote on the Disney deal next month.

Comcast's current $65-billion cash offer for Fox - along with the potential Sky deal - was already expected to push its debt load to $170-billion, according to Moody's Investors Service.

"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", Bob Iger, the chief executive of Disney, said. There is a provision that allows Fox shareholders to decide if they want payment in stock or in cash. That would lift the total transaction value above about $85-billion. Comcast still has an opportunity to return with an even higher bid.

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