The Walt Disney Company has increased its bid to acquire a majority stake of 21st Century Fox, upping its offer to $71.3 billion in stock and cash.
The offer comes days after Comcast submitted a $65 billion all-cash rival bid for Fox’s film and television arm, topping Disney’s previous bid of $52.4 billion.
“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,” says Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman, 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."
The new proposal would see Disney pay $38 per share for Fox, up $10 from its initial bid at $28 per share and more than Comcast’s bid for $35 per share.
The winning party would absorb the FX cable networks, 20th Century Fox, select regional sports networks and at 39 percent stake in British broadcaster Sky. Fox is in the midst of a multi-year process to acquire the portion of Sky that it does not own.