The Walt Disney Co. has reached a second agreement with 21st Century Fox to purchase Fox’s movie and television assets, this time for the much higher price of $71.3 billion.
“We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built...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,” Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.
Disney had previously offered Fox $52 billion in stock for the assets, which include Fox’s movie and television studios, cable channels and Sky television service in Europe along with a controlling stake in Hulu. The Burbank media giant bumped up its offer after Comcast Corp. made a $65 billion all-cash bid for the same assets on June 13.
In light of Disney’s new proposal, Fox’s board did not conclude “that the unsolicited proposal it received … from Comcast could reasonably be expected to result in a ‘Company Superior Proposal’ under the Disney Merger Agreement,” Fox said in a statement. However, Comcast could still bid on the assets again, as Fox has retained a provision in its agreement with Disney that would allow it to evaluate a competing proposal. It is not clear whether Comcast intends to make another offer.
The development was announced after trading ended Wednesday. Disney shares (DISN) rose $1.05, or about 1 percent, during the day to close at $107.15.