Disney makes $71B counteroffer for Fox

The X Men may be headed to Disney after all.                  21st Century Fox

The X Men may be headed to Disney after all. 21st Century Fox

Fox accepted the sweetened terms, saying it offers "a package of consideration, flexibility and deal certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by the Comcast Corporation".

The battle for control of some of the entertainment world's most prized properties has hotted up, with Disney dramatically increasing its offer for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox.

Disney raised its offer for key assets of 21st Century Fox on Wednesday to $71.3 billion to counter a rival bid from Comcast in the latest move in a bidding war that could create a dominant player in the media-entertainment world. But the NY company also said it is still weighing both offers, and noted that Disney's new bid doesn't have any provisions in it that prevents Fox from considering other offers. "[Comcast Chairman and CEO] Brian Roberts, if you remember, a little over 10 years ago tried to take over Disney and was shown the door by Iger and Co. -and that's going to happen again", said Bibb.

Shares of Fox jumped $2.88, or 6.5 percent, to $47.16 in early trading, which may suggest investors are expecting Comcast to return with an upped bid.

The move comes a week after Comcast, the US cable giant, offered $65bn in cash for the assets, which include 20th Century Fox - the Hollywood film studio behind hits such as Avatar, X-Men and Ice Age - US cable TV networks including FX and National Geographic and worldwide pay television assets including Star TV in India. Disney agreed to acquire under the previously announced merger agreement between 21CF and Disney.

The collar on the stock consideration will ensure that 21st Century Fox shareholders will receive a number of Disney shares equal to $38 in value if the average Disney stock price at closing is between $93.53 and $114.32. 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. Also included is Fox's 30% stake in Hulu and 39% interest in Euro satellite broadcaster Sky.

The release said Disney was confident the transaction would secure regulatory approval.

Comcast is yet to comment on the new deal.

This stake now stands at 39.1% but Fox is seeking to take full control of the business prior to selling it on to Disney.

Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch said the company "firmly believes" that the combination with Disney is a good fit.

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