Disney has upped its offer for 21st Century Fox to $71.3 billion (€61.6bn) in cash and shares, up from an earlier $52 billion offer, as it goes head to head with Comcast.
The move values Fox at $38 a share, some $10 higher than Disney’s first offer in December. Comcast’s current offer is $65 billion cash for Fox.
“The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies,” said Disney boss Robert Iger.
Both Disney and Comcast want Fox’s entertainment assets, including movie studio, cable channels, National Geographic, a 30 per cent stake in video website Hulu, and Indian network Star.
Fox would retain certain units, including Fox Sports, Fox News, Fox Television Stations and other assets, and mould them into a new company called “New Fox”.
The improved offer from Disney came as 21st Century Fox’s board was set to decide whether to back Comcast’s bid. Fox said it would now allow shareholders to evaluate Disney’s amended offer.