The battle for control of 21st Century Fox just heated up.
Comcast on Wednesday said it would top Disney's offer for the assets of 21st Century Fox by making an all-cash bid of $65 billion for a piece of Rupert Murdoch's empire.
In a letter to the Murdoch family, Philadelphia-based Comcast said that "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."
Comcast said that the deal would offer 21st Century Fox shareholders $35 per share in cash and 100 percent of the shares of the proposed spinoff, providing superior and more certain value as compared to Disney’s all-stock offer. Comcast said the deal would represent a premium of approximately 19 percent to the value of Disney’s offer as of noon on Wednesday.
Disney had offered to acquire Fox's entertainment arm for $52.4 billion last December to bolster its core TV and film business. Since then, Comcast has been expected to try to outbid Disney for 21st Century Fox, and the cable giant went public with its intention following Disney's recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S., owns NBCUniversal, a multinational media conglomerate that includes television networks, a motion picture company, TV production operations, and several theme parks.
Comcast was widely expected to bid on 21st Century Fox after a federal judge on Tuesday cleared the way for the merger of AT&T and Time Warner.