Disney Plans To Counter Comcast’s Offer For Fox With Cash

21st Century Fox

21st Century Fox

Disney could sweeten its all-stock bid with cash, given its strong balance sheet and the potential boost to earnings per share, according to Reuters.

Earlier today Disney rushed out a new $1.3 billion deal to outbid Comcast to buy FOX.

The announcement comes as Comcast had made it clear that it would like the Fox assets to expand globally and add to its content library - the same aims as Disney.

Fox, which has been trying to take full control of Sky since December 2016, originally offered 1075p per Sky share but this has since been trumped by a 1250p-a-share offer from Comcast that values the whole of Sky at £22.1bn.

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, said Fox believes Disney's offer is better than Comcast's - but the company said it would consider bids from other companies, including a revised offer from Comcast.

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The ruling suggests regulators may have a more hard time blocking a major deal in the sector on antitrust grounds.

The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 15, 2018. The acquisition will occur immediately after the spin-off by 21st Century Fox of the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company referred to as New Fox.

Disney, meanwhile, could also benefit from Fox's wide range of television and film assets, which could feed into its streaming services, including a planned rival to Netflix sometimes referred to as Disneyflix. "Further hampering Comcast's ability to respond is its position that it does not want to use its stock in a deal at these low levels".

Disney's new offer is essentially the same as the first - just with a higher valuation for the Fox assets. Fox has postponed a July 10 meeting, which had originally been scheduled for shareholders to vote on the deal.

"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", Murdoch said. Under the terms of its merger agreement with Fox, Disney has the right of refusal on any counteroffer.

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