Bidding wars: Comcast offers $65 billion for 21st Century Fox, beats Disney's $52.4 billion offer
The ownership of 20th Century Fox film studio is crucial as it will bring the owner the rights to several Marvel properties
In December last year, Disney had announced their plans to take over 21st Century Fox's major TV and studio properties for a whopping $52.4 billion offer. As part of the bid, the Burbank-based studio intended on buying Fox's National Geographic, FX, Star TV, and some stakes in Sky, Endemol Shine Group, and Hulu, as well as a few regional sports networks. The network's film studio, 20th Century Fox and, along with that, the rights to several Marvel properties would also be taken over by Disney.
However, it was recently reported that Walt Disney Co's massive bid will be rivaled by Comcast which is also planning to make an offer and that too all in cash.
The news was finally confirmed this Wednesday after the telecommunication giant officially announced their $65 billion bid, topping Disney's previously-announced offer of $52.4 billion.
"These are highly strategic and complementary businesses, and we are, in our minds, the right buyer," CEO Brian Roberts, Comcast, said, according to CNBC.
The parent company of NBCUniversal later released a letter, addressing board members and the Murdoch family, it has emerged. "We were disappointed when [Fox] decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price," the letter read. "We are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the Board's stated concerns with our prior proposal."
Comcast's decision comes after a recent federal judgement granted AT&T the permission to purchase Time Warner for $85.4 billion.
Both Disney and Comcast have shown interest in buying Fox properties to bolster their existing portfolio of entertainment offering and also to secure their footprint in the international market. Interestingly enough, the bone of contention happens to be Netflix and its May valuation.
Considering the growth and reach of the streaming giant, it doesn't come as a surprise that others too wanted a stake in this opportunity.
Disney CEO Bob Iger had said in a statement, “This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands.”