Disney has raised its offer to acquire the studio and cable network assets of 21st Century Fox to $71.3 billion in cash and stock, reports Deadline.
According to the trade the new offer is approximately $19 billion larger than the one Fox accepted last year, and nearly 10% higher than the $65 billion offer Comcast put on the table last week.
Deadline reports most analysts and industry observers had expected Disney to match Comcast, but not go so much higher.
Disney's new offer is reportedly $38 per share in cash and stock, along with taking on $13.8B of Fox’s net debt, increasing the total transaction to $85.1B.
“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, Fox’s Executive Chairman, according to Deadline. “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.”
In light of the new Disney offer, Fox has reportedly not concluded that the June offer from Comcast would count as a “superior proposal,” as per the existing merger agreement with Disney, but the new amended offer still allows the Fox board of directors to evaluate a new competing proposal.