Comcast kicked off the bidding war for 21st Century Fox last week and Disney is trying to end it today. Disney has increased their offer for most of 21st Century Fox from $52.4B to a staggering $71.3B. Disney’s latest offer comes in well over Comcast’s $65B all-cash proposal last week.
Fox has publicly endorsed Disney’s new proposal over Comcast’s. Fox Executive Chairman said as much in a statement released today.
“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.
“We remain convinced that the combination of [Fox’s] iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney’s will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world.”
Disney’s initial $52.4B offer for Fox was all-stock, but the new, higher offer will combine cash and stock. In addition to paying $71.3B for most of the company, Disney will also assume a chunk of Fox’s outstanding debt, raising the total equity value of Disney’s latest proposal to $85.1B.
Disney has also issued their own statement about the amended deal with CEO Bob Iger speaking about the strength of a Disney-Fox combination.
“The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies, and after six months of integration planning we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox. At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.”
Disney once again leads the pack in trying to acquire Fox, but this does not necessarily mean the bidding is over. Comcast is still able to consider any other proposals at this time. Comcast can increase their offer, or another bidder could potentially throw their name in the hat.
The July 10 vote for both Disney and Fox shareholders to approve the deal has been postponed. The amended agreement between the two companies requires new SEC filings before such a vote can take place, so they will need additional time. Once all of that is sorted, a new date will be announced.
You can read the full statements from Fox and then Disney below.
21st Century Fox Board Announces Amended and Restated Merger Agreement With Disney
NEW YORK, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21CF”) (NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) announced today that it has entered into an amended and restated merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) (NYSE: DIS) pursuant to which Disney has agreed to acquire for a price of $38 per 21CF share the same businesses Disney agreed to acquire under the previously announced merger agreement between 21CF and Disney (the “Disney Merger Agreement”). This price represents a significant increase over the purchase price of approximately $28 per share included in the Disney Merger Agreement when it was announced in December 2017. The amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement offers a package of consideration, flexibility and deal certainty enhancements that is superior to the proposal made by the Comcast Corporation on June 13, 2018.
Under the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement, Disney would acquire those businesses on substantially the same terms, except that, among other things, Disney’s offer allows 21CF stockholders to elect to receive their consideration, on a value equalized basis, in the form of cash or stock, subject to 50/50 proration. 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.
“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,” said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 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.”
In light of the revised terms contained in the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement, 21CF’s board, after consultation with its outside legal counsel and financial advisors, has not concluded that the unsolicited proposal it received on June 13, 2018 from Comcast could reasonably be expected to result in a “Company Superior Proposal” under the Disney Merger Agreement.
However, the amended and restated Disney Merger Agreement contains no changes to the provisions relating to the Company’s directors’ ability to evaluate a competing proposal.
As announced on May 30, 2018, 21CF has established a record date of May 29, 2018 and a meeting date of July 10, 2018, for a special meeting of its stockholders to, among other things, consider and vote on a proposal to adopt the Disney Merger Agreement. 21CF has determined to postpone its special meeting of stockholders to a future date in order to provide stockholders the opportunity to evaluate the terms of Disney’s revised proposal and other developments to date. Once 21CF determines the new date for 21CF’s special meeting of stockholders, the date will be communicated to 21CF stockholders.
New $38-per-share acquisition gives 21st Century Fox shareholders option to electcash or stock in the combined entity
BURBANK, Calif., June 20, 2018—The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) todayannounced that it has signed an amended acquisition agreement with Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox” —NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX), for $38 per share in cash and stock. Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox immediately following the spin-off of the businesses comprising “New Fox” as previously announced.
Under the amended agreement, 21st Century Fox shareholders may elect to receive, for each share of 21st Century Fox common stock, $38 in either cash or shares of Disney common stock (subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities as described in the original acquisition announcement). The overall mix of consideration paid to 21st Century Fox shareholders will be approximately 50% cash and 50% stock. The stock consideration is subject to a collar (described below under ‘Transaction Details’) and is expected to be tax-free to 21st Century Fox shareholders.
The 21st Century Fox businesses to be acquired by Disney remain the same as under the original agreement. Since the original agreement was announced, the intrinsic value ofthese assets has increased, notably due to tax reform and operating improvements.
“The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies, and after six months of integration planning we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world.”
Disney is expected to pay a total of approximately $35.7 billion in cash and issue approximately 343 million new shares to 21st Century Fox shareholders, representing about a 19% stake in Disney on a pro forma basis.
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. 21st Century Fox shareholders will receive an exchange ratio of 0.3324 shares of Disney common stock if the average Disney stock price at closing is above $114.32 and 0.4063 shares of Disney common stock if the average Disney stock price at closing is below $93.53. Elections of cash and stock will be subject to proration to the extent cash or stock is oversubscribed.
Disney will also assume about $13.8 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox. The acquisition price implies a total equity value of approximately $71.3 billion and a total transaction value of approximately $85.1 billion (assuming no tax adjustment). Disney has secured financing commitments for the cash portion of the acquisition.
The amended transaction is expected to be accretive to Disney earnings per share before the impact of purchase accounting for the second fiscal year after the close of the transaction, and to yield at least $2 billion in cost synergies by 2021 from operating efficiencies realized through the combination of businesses.
As announced in the original acquisition agreement, the businesses to be acquired byDisney include 21st Century Fox’s film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 Pictures; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox 21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Sports Regional Networks; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, and Tata Sky. 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. If 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own prior to closing of the Disney acquisition, Disney would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing.
The acquisition will significantly increase Disney’s international footprint and expand the content and distribution for its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans; a Disney-branded streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019 that will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films along with a host of exclusive original content and library titles; and its ownership stake in Hulu. As a result of the acquisition, Disney will hold a controlling stake in Hulu.
Disney believes the transaction has a clear and timely path to regulatory approval. Both companies have spent the past six months working toward meeting all conditions necessary for closing. In the amended agreement, Disney has increased the scope of its commitment to take actions required to secure regulatory approval.
The amended agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Disney and 21st Century Fox. The transaction is subject to approval by Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders, clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, a number of other non-United States merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions. Both companies had been scheduled to hold shareholder meetings on the previously announced transaction on July 10. In light of the amended agreement, the companies are required to prepare updated SEC filings and proxy materials which will be sent to shareholders. A new date for the shareholder meetings will be announced.