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Finance Comcast makes $65 billion offer for 21st Century Fox assets as bidding war with Disney heats up (FOXA, CMCSA, DIS)

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The bid, $35 per share in cash, is higher than Disney's previous offer of $52 billion for the company's production assets and movie franchises.

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(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)
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Comcast made its highly-anticipated bid for 21st Century Fox official, offering $65 billion for the company excluding the Fox News and Fox Business channels.

The bid, $35 per share in cash, is roughly 24% higher than Disney's previous offer of $52 billion for the company's production assets and movie franchises.

"We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox," Comcast said in a letter to Fox's board of directors. "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."

The cable provider originally held back on bidding for Fox's production assets until a Federal judge ruled on Tuesday in favor of AT&T's so-called vertical merger with Time Warner. A Comcast-Fox merger, like a Disney-Fox merger, would be similarly vertical by combining a distributor with a content producer.

"We are also highly confident that our proposed transaction will obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner and that our transaction is as or more likely to receive regulatory approval than the Disney transaction," Comcast said.

The offers could go even higher, one Wall Street analyst suggested.

"Based on our merger models, we think bids from CMCSA or DIS could reach as high as $80 billion," John Janedis, an analyst at Jefferies, told clients in a note Tuesday.

Shares of 21st Century Fox rose about 1.15% in after-hours trading immediately following the bid.

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(Markets Insider)