Fox Accepts Disney's New Bid in Major Blow to Comcast

Gotham -- Disney, 21st Century Fox, Comcast logos

Just after Disney added cash to its stock offer for 21st Century Fox, it appears things are back on track as the Mouse House moves closer to securing Fox.

According to Bloomberg, Disney officially raised its offer to a staggering $71.3 billion, outbidding Comcast in the war for the majority of 21st Century Fox. It's said that the new $38-a-share price is about $10 a share higher than the original offer from Disney back in December, and it's also $3 above Comcast’s most recent bid. It's not entirely surprising, then, that Fox has reportedly accepted the new proposal, citing its flexibility and "other enhancements" that the Comcast deal lacked. This, of course, doesn't mean Comcast is necessarily out of the game just yet, though, as the company still has a chance to make a new offer.

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Comcast is expected to counter Disney's newest proposal with a revised $40-a-share deal. However, there is one minor detail working against the company now, and it's larger than a simple bid. After six months, it appears Disney is near winning antitrust approval for its offer, and -- should that happen -- any future offer from Comcast would be met with more regulatory hurdles. Of course, this was one of the reasons Fox initially rejected Comcast's first offer prior to its deal with Disney. So, it's doubtful that the Fox family would seek to pursue any further conversations with Comcast once Disney officially wins antitrust approval. There's also the fact that Disney's latest offer is one that is rather difficult for Comcast to match or even outbid, as the company was already reported to be eyeing a ton of debt from its $65 billion cash offer.

With the new deal, Disney will allow Fox shareholders the option to either payment in the form of cash or stock, up to a 50-50 level. The biggest difference, of course, is that the previous deal was an all-stock deal; it was only after Comcast's all-cash bid that Disney opted to sweeten-the-pot, so to speak, in order to entice Fox shareholders to keep the deal on track. Shareholders were originally set to vote on July 10th, but the vote has been pushed back to a yet-to-be-announced date in order to allow holders to carefully review Disney's latest proposal.

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