Shares of 21st Century Fox are up over 7 percent in after-hours trading following Comcast’s $65 billion bid for the media company.
The nation’s largest cable company said it would pay $35 per share to buy all of 21CF’s assets, excluding Fox News. It is the largest all-cash deal ever, surpassing Bayer’s $64 billion merger with Monsanto, according to Thomson Reuters.
This is the second time Comcast has made an offer to buy 21st Century Fox. Last year 21CF rejected Comcast’s offer of $60 billion. Shortly after, Disney stepped in and agreed to buy 21CF for $52.4 billion.
Fox shareholders are expected to vote on the Disney deal in July, but in a statement today the company said it has not made a decision as to whether it will postpone or adjourn that meeting.
In a letter to Fox, Comcast’s CEO and Chairman Brian Roberts, wrote, “We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox. After our meetings last year, we came away convinced that the 21CF businesses to be sold are highly complementary to ours, and that our company would be the right strategic home for them. So, we were disappointed when 21CF decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price.”
He noted that Comcast’s most recent offer represents a premium of approximately 19% to the value of Disney’s offer.
Comcast’s move comes a day after a federal judge approved a merger between AT&T and Time Warner. “In light of yesterday’s decision in the AT&T/Time Warner case, the limited time prior to your shareholders’ meeting, and our strong continued interest, we are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the Board’s stated concerns with our prior proposal,” Roberts said.
Shares of Comcast were flat after-hours.
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