A YEAR ago, investors in 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment empire, could have been forgiven a bout of the blues. Shares were down by 30% from their peak in December 2014. Viewership of most of the company’s American networks was in decline, and millions had dropped expensive pay-TV packages, including its own, in favour of cheaper web-delivered video.
On May 25th Fox’s shares reached a new all-time high, rising above $39 a share. The business has not turned around, but Fox’s value has, as a prize for other media titans seeking global scale. Comcast, a cable giant, is preparing to top Disney’s $52bn all-stock offer for much of Fox (plus almost $15bn in debt) with an all-cash offer of at least $60bn. Disney is reportedly readying cash to sweeten its offer, which Fox’s board had approved in December. The final sale price could exceed $70bn. The winner will take on Netflix and Amazon in the competition for customers globally. The loser will be at risk of falling…Continue reading