Our long national nightmare is finally over! The streets are filled with revelry, as the dreamers who had once hoped of Wolverine joining the Avengers on film and a Fantastic Four film done right have had their dreams come true.
Disney has managed to stave a last minute, $65 billion dollar counteroffer from Comcast to purchase 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets after Disney bumped up their original $52.8 billion dollar all-stock offer to a $71.3 billion cash and stock option. The Fox board approved the deal today.
The shareholders still have to approve of the deal, and there is a possibility of another counteroffer from Comcast, but Disney and Fox are making statements like it’s a done deal.
Fox’s executive chairman Rupert Murdoch had this to say about the deal: “We … 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. 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.“
And Disney Chairman Robert Iger offer this from his end of the transaction: “The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant value to the shareholders of both companies, and after six months of integration planning we’re more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox.”
Fox shareholders will receive $38 a share in either cash or Disney common stock, or a 50-50 combination of cash and Disney stock. Disney expects to pay a total of $35.7 billion in cash and issue 343 million new shares of stock to Fox shareholders, giving them a 19% stake in Disney. Comcast’s current all-cash deal does not offer this type of long-term benefit to Fox shareholders.
Comcast’s big presence in the high-speed broadband market might have been onther reason Fox has chosen Disney–twice–over Comcast. That aspect of Comcast’s portfolio might have caught the eye of regulators. raising potential deal-breaking problems a deal with Disney would not.
No word yet if Comcast is willing to come up with a counteroffer that will satisfy Fox will not angering their own shareholders.