Disney Ups Fox Bid to $71.3 Billion, Outflanking Comcast

Disney raises bid for 21st Century Fox assets to more than $70.3 billion

As to another scenario that some analysts and media observers have floated - Disney and Comcast dividing up the Fox assets - Iger said the agreement with Fox "precludes that".

Fox's board is recommending the increased Disney offer to its shareholders and said that it was "superior" to the offer from Comcast last week.

Disney said it would now pay $38 per share for Fox, up from its initial bid of $28 per share.

In morning trading, shares of 21st Century Fox rallied 6 percent to $47.47.

The improved offer came as 21st Century Fox board was set to decide whether to back Comcast's bid for assets that include Fox's film and television studios and global businesses.

'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, ' he said in a statement.

Disney also plans to take on about $13.8-billion of Fox's net debt.

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With this deal, Disney will get ownership of 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, Fox's 22 regional sports channels, cable channels including FX and National Geographic, and Fox's portfolio of global operations, including a fast-growing pay-TV service in India.

Disney's new offer, which is a mixture of cash and stocks, is significantly higher than its prior bid of $52.4 billion. Those will be spun off into a new company.

The tie-up "is an extremely compelling proposition for consumers that will allow us to create even more appealing high quality content, expand our direct to consumer offerings, an global presence and deliver more exciting and personalized entertainment experiences to meet the growing demands of consumers worldwide", Iger told a conference call.

Granted, even if Fox agrees to a deal, the merger would still be subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission. "The consumer is voting, and loudly, that these new platforms are very compelling from an experience and value perspective".

That's more than the $65 billion Comcast (CMCSA) offered a week ago. "I don't think Bob Iger is walking away". Every time it seems as though it's going one way, it goes the other.

Both Disney and Comcast could use it to expand globally.

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.

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